One of the many iconic landmarks of London, St Paul’s Cathedral has been ever present in the city’s skyline for centuries and remains a popular site for tourists today. Here’s 12 interesting facts about one of the most recognisable sights in the capital. 

  • The current version of St Paul’s Cathedral is the fourth one built on the site. 
  • St Paul’s Cathedral took 35 years to build. 
  • Sir Christopher Wren was the architect who designed and built the cathedral and was the first to be buried in its tombs. 
  • Along with Wren, historical figures such as Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill & Sir Alexander Felming were all memoralised at St Paul’s Cathedral 
  • Over 70,000 tonnes of Portland Stone was quarried in Dorset in order to build St Paul’s. 
  • The main dome is one of the biggest in the world at over 110 metres high. 
  • The inside of the dome was decorated by Sir James Thornhill, who was one of the most accomplished painters of his time. 
  • St Paul’s was the target of two suffragette bombings in 1913 & 1914, both unsuccessful. 
  • Many famous films have been shot in and around St Paul’s Cathedral including Lawrence of Arabia, Mary Poppins, Sherlock Holmes & 2 Harry Potter films. 
  • St Paul’s Cathedral is located in the highest point of London, Ludgate Hill. 
  • From when it was built in 1710 right through until 1963, St Paul’s was the tallest building in London. 
  • St Paul’s is a Grade I listed building. 

How old is St Paul’s Cathedral? 

St Paul’s Cathedral as we know it today was officially completed in 1710, making it 311 years old. However, the current structure that we see today is the fourth version of the Cathedral. There has been a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul in London since 604 AD, this first version was built for Mellitus, Bishop of the East Saxons and took 10 years to rebuild after being destroyed by a fire in 675 AD.  

It was 287 years later in 962 AD before the second Cathedral fell victim to a Viking invasion and then rebuilt by the Normans. This third structure stood until 1666 when it was destroyed by the Great Fire of London. 

How long did St Paul’s Cathedral take to build? 

Designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren, St Paul’s Cathedral took 35 years to build. The current version started construction in 1675 and wasn’t completed until 1710. The construction of St Paul’s Cathedral was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London. Wren had been commissioned with the rebuilding of as many as 50 city churches that had been lost to the fire of 1666. Attempts had been made to renovate what was left of the building, but ultimately it was decided to level the ruined Cathedral and start from scratch. 

Is St Paul’s cathedral made of wood? 

Early renditions of the cathedral were made from wood. However, because of the subsequent fires, the current design is made mostly from Portland Stone. In fact, 70,000 tonnes of Portland Stone were quarried in Dorset in order to build St Paul’s Cathedral. 

How much does it cost to visit St Paul’s Cathedral? 

The entry fee for St Paul’s Cathedral is £20 on the door for a standard, general admission, adult ticket. However, if you book in advance online it costs £17, saving you £3. St Paul’s Cathedral is a working church with hourly prayer and daily services. No charge is made to people attending any of these regular services.  

Places to eat near St Paul’s Cathedral? 

Chop’d St Paul’s is located next to St Paul’s Cathedral and around the corner from the Paternoster pub on Queen’s Head Passage. This Chop’d restaurant is proudly managed by Caroline.  

Chop’d prides itself on honest and healthy ingredients, providing a healthy and sustainable place to eat near St Paul’s over the years. We are proud to commit to locally sourced food and packaging products, which we believe helps protect the environment we all share. Beat the queue by placing your order using our app or website, our talented team will prepare your fresh and locally sourced meal and keep it fresh, ready for your collection.