St Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD

A new cathedral for London

A new cathedral for London

The stones of St. Paul's flew like [grenades], the melting lead running down the streets in a stream, and the very pavements glowing with fiery redness, so as no horse nor man was able to tread on them.
John Evelyn, 4 September 1666

 

St Paul's Cathedral had been given a new west front by Inigo Jones in the 1630s but was still in disrepair. King Charles II had just agreed Christopher Wren’s plans for it in August 1666. On 4 September, fanned by the east wind, the fire reached the Cathedral and was fuelled by wooden scaffolding around it. It burnt completely.

After the Fire, Wren was commissioned to build a new cathedral "handsome and noble to all the ends of it and to the reputation of the City and the nation”. Work began in 1675 and the last stone was laid in 1708.