This is the fourth in a series of posts about what we did on our recent trip to London.
After alighting from a Thames Clipper at London Bridge Pier, we made a brief visit to Southwark Cathedral, which sits on the south bank of the River Thames, opposite the City of London.
Whilst much of the cathedral building dates from the 19th century, there has been a church on this site for over 1000 years and some parts are several hundred years old. Other parts are significantly more recent, with several extensions added around the time of the millennium.
It’s an impressive church. Whilst it is significantly smaller than, say, York Minster, it’s in very good condition and open for worship, or a quiet wander as a tourist. Of note is a memorial to William Shakespeare; as well as a cast of him in the wall, the stained glass window above shows characters from many of his plays – Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and various of the kings plays. The organ is also quite impressive, dating from the late 19th century and recently restored to fully-working order.
As with most churches, entry is free but donations (preferably with Gift Aid) are encouraged. To be able to take photographs, you will also need to buy a permit, but this only costs a few pounds and contributes to the cost of upkeep of the cathedral. I was happy to pay it, even though I’m not religious myself. It’s certainly better than being told you can’t take photos at all.
We didn’t stay for long – it was approaching five o’clock by the time we got there – but it was long enough to take a few photos, and listen to an orchestra who were rehearsing there. I’ve uploaded a few pictures to Flickr if you want to have a look at the rest of the church.