Southwark Cathedral – Why you should visit this Oldest Gothic Cathedral in London
Southwark Cathedral: A magnificent Gothic Cathedral and a historical masterpiece
Southwark Cathedral boasts a Gothic architecture and a history that goes way back to 606 AD where people have come here to worship which was once, the site of Roman pagan worship. Southwark Cathedral is an Anglican Church and is located in the South Bank of River Thames, just next to the Borough Market which is a thriving environment and easily accessible via London Bridge Station [see below on Useful information]. The original site was mostly destroyed by fire in 1212 but there are remnants of original Norman constructed with ragstone rubble, chalk and lead which still remains. These Norman influences can be seen in the rounded arches at the back right of the Cathedral and the arched doorway that leads into the church. The distinguishable medieval Gothic elements can be seen in parts of the front of the Cathedral.
Southwark Cathedral: A place of worship & hospitality
Described “as ‘thin places’ where you can glimpse and touch a little bit of heaven and experience something of the hospitality of God”, Southwark Cathedral is truly a remarkable Church. In my travels, I have visited many Cathedrals, but this was something else…there was a sense of peacefulness at this Church which I had not experienced elsewhere before. I learnt that back in the day, this Priory was important to London not just as a place of worship but also because it was a place for education and hospitality – John Gower, the poet, once lived here. His tomb is located in the north aisle of the nave of the Cathedral. It is a brightly coloured tomb – you will not miss it. You can read more about John Gower by clicking here.
Southwark Cathedral: The interior – a splendid sight!
The interior of Southwark Cathedral boasts another splendid sight. The incredible architecture of the interior, with its intricate details, the curves, the alcoves and the stained glass windows…there are no special words except that it is simply “beautiful” – see ⇓⇓. The vaulted ceilings are a Must See! With the sunlight coming through into this large and airy space, it makes walking through the Cathedral a very relaxing experience.
Hope that I have convinced you enough to visit Southwark Cathedral, but if not, then I am certain the following attraction will – a visit to the member of the Southwark Cathedral family…see below at the next picture 🙂
I have visited Southwark Cathedral a couple of times since last summer, and besides the stained-glass windows, the breath-taking Gothic ceiling and its history, the highlight of my first visit was Doorkins Magnificat. I was with MT, who took a picture of this adorable furry baby who was asleep in her bed. Doorkins is 12-years old and she likes to sleep. She does not like to be disturbed as she would be grumpy! She has been part of the Cathedral’s family since 2008 and has her own line of merchandises, her story book and a twitter account [@DoorkinsM]. To read more on Doorkins, click here
I had more time on my second visit and took to admiring the stained-glass windows – splendidly beautiful with the sun shining through.
Southwark Cathedral: Other highlights
- Shakespeare’s Memorial and window
- The Harvard Chapel
- The Herb Garden
- The Archaeological Chamber
Travel tips and Useful information:
Opening times: 08:00 to 18:00
Entry – is FREE
Photography permit – £1.00 and it comes with a Souvenir Guide
Fully accessible for wheelchair users and limited mobility users.
The best way to get here is by the Underground or Trains and the nearest Station is London Bridge, less than 5-minute walk.
Exit London Bridge, onto Tooley Street. opposite the Hay’s Galleria. Cross-over and head west towards London Bridge Hospital. Walk-under London Bridge and past the London Tombs and Mudlark Public House. You will reach the courtyard on the north side of the Cathedral.
Address: London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7367 6734
Tours of London
For some great ideas on what sights to see, click this link and browse through for options to Get Your Guide to London and make your visit to this capital City an unforgettable one.
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