Southwark Cathedral – London – Photos

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

I visited Southwark Cathedral when I went to meet my newest grand daughter.  I had a while to wait for my train back to Birmingham and the Cathedral is very close to one of the stations that I went through (London Bridge).  It also stands next to the bustling Borough Market.

Cathedral interior

Cathedral interior

History of Southwark Cathedral

The Domesday Book in 1085 mentions the cathedral but it is thought that there was a religious community there for several centuries before that.  The official name of Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie is quite a mouthful, but it reflects the long history of the building.  First dedicated to St Mary it became known as St Mary Overie where Overie stands for ‘over the river’.   King Henry VIII took control of it and renamed St Saviours.  Now its name includes both of these saints.




Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

The interior

I first visited the cathedral many years ago to listen to a concert given by the choir of my old school in Zimbabwe.  I thought that this quilt showing a map of Zimbabwe was there just for that concert.  However I was thrilled to see it still on the wall.

Lent Art installation

Lent Art installation

The waterfall of fabric hanging from the top of the cathedral to the altar floor puzzled me at first.  It is the Lent Art Installation, called Footfall.  Their website describes its meaning:

The artist Alison Clark has made prints from footfall in the Cathedral by capturing the worn surfaces of monumental stones in the Retrochoir. These prints are an echo of pilgrims who have come to worship over the centuries.

Fascinating.

Tomb of John Gower

Tomb of John Gower

People involved with the cathedral

The tomb of John Gower is very impressive.  He was a Poet Laureate to both King Richard II and King Henry IV and died in 1408.  I didn’t realise that the post of poet laureate went back such a long way.

The church (as it was then) is mentioned by Samuel Pepys.  Shakespeare lived in the parish of the church.  His brother is buried there and one of the stained glass windows celebrates Shakespeare himself.

John Harvard, as in Harvard University, came from the area and was christened in this cathedral in 1607.  He is celebrated through the Harvard Chapel.  This is designated as a place for quiet and reflection so I didn’t take any photos in there.

Floor tile design

Floor tile design

Quilt inspiration

All of Southwark Cathedral is filled with inspiration, but this particular floor tile design struck me as a great idea for a simple quilt.  You could make a scrappy quilt of very small squares from stash and then surround it with a bright and cheerful border.

London Bridge

London Bridge

Outside the cathedral

The area around the cathedral resounds with history.  A short walk to the River Thames brings you to London Bridge on the left.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast

To the right lies Tower Bridge.  Between the two bridges lies HMS Belfast.  A wonderful museum that unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit:

Explore all nine decks of HMS Belfast to discover what life was like on board for the crew at war and at sea. The most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship.

All in all, both Southward Cathedral and the surrounding area make a delightful place to visit.  I hope to go back there one day when I have a lot more time.