With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Southwark Cathedral, London

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Southwark Cathedral, London

Of all the cathedrals we visited, Southwark, that lies on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge, was my favorite.
Breathtaking comes close to describing it.

part of their welcome statement: We believe there has been a church on this site since AD 606. There may well have been a church here even earlier. Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral church building in London, and archaeological evidence shows there was Roman pagan worship here well before that.
After our City walk, touring St. Paul's Cathedral, Millennial Bridge, Bankside walk and Borough Market, it was on to Southwark Cathedral. We timed our arrival so we could enjoy the choral evensong service.
 We entered from the North West door and sat in the nave during evensong.

photo source

The baptismal font stands between the north and south entrances of the Cathedral.
 extraordinary architecture 

monuments and memorials in the transepts
 the organ
 William Shakespeare monument 
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is commemorated by a window and monument in the South Aisle.

The monument, carved by Henry McCarthy in 1912, shows a recumbent alabaster figure of the actor and writer set against a background of 17th century Southwark.
William's brother Edmund was buried in St Saviour's in 1607. Although the position of his grave is unknown, he is commemorated by an inscribed stone in the paving of the Choir.
The window, designed by Christopher Webb, replaced a previous one destroyed during the 2nd World War. It shows characters from some of Shakespeare's plays.
the choir area
 John sitting near a placard with John Bunyan's name 
 I am sitting next to a placard with William Shakespeare's name.
 This photo is taken as we looked toward the nave where we entered.  It is past the choir benches.

High Altar Screen – Southwark cathedral, 1520 AD

 The Great Screen

This magnificent screen was erected by Bishop Fox of Winchester in 1520. Although the general appearance of the screen, with three broad rich bands of carvings and statuary, is that of the original, most of the detail is from later periods.

Whether all the original statues were ever installed is uncertain, as the screen was completed within a decade of the Reformation when such statues were forbidden. The small carvings of the Lamb of God and the pelican (a badge of Bishop Fox) immediately above the rows of angels are probably original, as are some of the bases of the niches. The small carvings in the corners of the two doorways, showing hunting scenes, may also be original. source

 Model of the church and old Westminster Palace
The Humble Monument portrays Alderman Richard Humble and his two wives.
 the high alter and the great screen

walking toward the retro-choir
 the far back is called the retro-choir

The Retro-choir, built from 1215-1260 and is the oldest complete part of  Southwark Cathedral.

The Retro-choir is thought by many to be the loveliest part of the Cathedral, with superb spatial qualities. The design is 13th century Early English
 view from the retro-choir down the south choir
the floor of the Retro-choir.
 The Lady Chapel
south aisle nearing south west entrance

late afternoon sunbeams
exterior view
 outside Southwark Cathedral
archaeological chamber
 Roman Road 1st century AD
Near the entrance to the cafe and shop is part of the archaeological excavations left open for public display. Excavations around Southwark Cathedral in 1999 revealed part of a Roman road, foundations of the original Norman Priory wall, a 13th century medieval stone coffin and part of a late 17th century 'Delft' pottery kiln made of brick, one of the few surviving arched kilns found in Europe. source
Finally, after walking more than seven miles this day, we relaxed and ate dinner in a pub near our hotel.


Lorrie said...

Those soaring Gothic arches always impress me. The light coloured stone used in this cathedral is so beautiful and adds light. What an amazing visit. Hope you enjoyed that dinner after your many miles of touristing.

Ann said...

wow, it's beautiful.

Susan said...

How wonderful you got to see such a lovely cathedral LDH! So happy for you. Susan

NanaDiana said...

WOW! That is just spectacular. I bet it was even more awesome in real life than the pictures show. It is MASSIVE, too. Those excavation(s) that are showing there are really amazing. I am so glad you got to tour this. I'd say after walking 7 miles you EARNED a good dinner-xo Diana

Debbie said...

WOW!! WOW!!! WOW!!! Such unbelievable beauty. I have a feeling that these pictures don't begin to do justice to just how breathtaking it really was. What a wonderful trip! 7 miles is quite the day! lol. Glad you enjoyed


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