St Paul’s Cathedral
Join me on a tour of St Paul’s Cathedral, an architectural triumph, an iconic London landmark, and a building interlinked with British national life.
You’ll hear about the site’s long history as a place of worship – the present Cathedral is the fifth on the site! – the arguments over the design and the deceptions Sir Christopher Wren used to build the Cathedral in the way he wanted to, how the structure mixes three architectural styles in a unique and distinctive manner – and how the building was so nearly lost to bombing in the Second World War.
I will show you the wonderful craftsmanship in the interior of the building: carvings by Grinling Gibbons; wonderful French metalwork, sculpture by Henry Moore, mosaics, paintings and more.
We can visit the famous Whispering Gallery where a word muttered thirty metres away sounds clear as day! I will tell you the stories behind the lives and deaths of the countless famous heroes, artists and statesmen buried here – including Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Florence Nightingale, JWM Turner and the poet and former Cathedral Dean, John Donne.
You will follow in the footsteps of Kings and Queens who have marked important anniversaries and events at St Pauls: the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher; the Jubilees of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II; services to mark the end of both World Wars and the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
We’ll see the American Memorial Chapel, honouring 28,000 US Servicemen who were associated with Britain in the Second World War and the Chapel of the Order of the British Empire, as well as the Cathedral’s copy of Holman Hunt’s sublime painting of Christ: “The Light of the World”. At every step at St Pauls, one is surrounded by history and beautiful art and architecture: no visit to London is complete without a visit to this magnificent building. I will help you get the best out of your time there.