Southwark Cathedral dates back to the 9th-century AD, when the Bishop of Winchester erected a church on the site. That burnt down in a blaze, and was rebuilt by Augustinian monks in 1106. That lasted for another hundred years, before succumbing to more flames.
The building that we see today is late 14th-century. The nave was remodelled in the Victorian age by Arthur Blomfield.
Its relatively small stature (for a cathedral) resides in its original role as a parish church – it only gained cathedral status in 1905.
Southwark Cathedral houses the graves of many famous figures, including Shakespeare’s brother Edmund, who died in 1607. A stained-glass window depicts some characters from the Bard’s own plays.
In a glass case nearby are the stone bones of a medieval man, and there is also a remarkable effigy of a knight – which has been dated back to 1275.
Next door is a visitor’s centre called The Long View of London, with some touch-screen displays and views from the tower.
If you enjoy this then try: Brompton Oratory (catch the tube from London Bridge to Brompton Oratory); St. Paul’s Cathedral (walk it in 14 mins or catch a train from London Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral); Westminster Abbey (catch the tube from London Bridge to Westminster Abbey) and Westminster Cathedral (catch the tube from London Bridge to Westminster Cathedral).
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