Southwark Cathedral is London’s oldest cathedral church building. It’s believed that there has been a church on the site since AD 606, or even earlier. Southwark Cathedral stands at the oldest crossing point of the tidal Thames, at what was the only entrance to the City of London across the river for centuries.
Southwark Cathedral at London Bridge has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years, but only a cathedral since the creation of the diocese of Southwark in 1905. Between 1106 and 1538 it was the Church of an Augustinian priory dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Much of the building today retains the basic form of the Gothic structure built between 1220 and 1420, although the nave is a late 19th century reconstruction.
The Cathedral runs normal daily services throughout the day, and is a popular venue for concerts, graduation ceremonies and special services. There are regular organ recitals held on Monday lunchtimes and Tuesday afternoons – a splendid feature of the church and well worthwhile for all visitors.
The Cathedral also offers a variety of exhibitions, including:
- Caro Rathbone – An exhibition of paintings (2 September 2017) – Caro Rathbone’s paintings are largely abstract using oils, watercolours, gouache and mixed media. She aims to reflect the joys and tribulations of life in her work. The exhibition will open from 10am to 6pm.
- Jim Grover – Of things not seen (2 October 2017) – Of things not seen is a photo-essay by the award-winning photographer Jim Grover, which tells the story of a year of ministry by the Reverend Kit Gunasekera. The exhibition will open from 10am to 6pm.
- Chico Mentor – An exhibition of paintings (28 October 2017) – Chico paints in oil and acrylics on canvas to aim for a playful and happy expression with dynamic colours and shapes. The subjects are the people in London and Latin America, their customs and their religion. The exhibition will open from 10am to 6pm.
The Cathedral offers a guided tour led by a certified Cathedral guide on Fridays at 11am and 1pm, and Sundays at 1pm. Please contact the Cathedral before visiting to check whether a tour is available.
The Cathedral is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 8.30am to 6pm. The Cathedral closes at 1pm on Christmas Day (25 December). The main visiting times for the Cathedral are from 10am to 5pm. For more information regarding the opening times, visit the website here.
The Cathedral is situated on the Southbank in central London, it is 5 minutes from London Bridge and the London Bridge station. The Cathedral is easy to reach from central London mainline and underground stations. For more information, visit the website here.
There is access to all levels of the Cathedral via lifts or fixed portable ramps, there is level access on all levels of the Cathedral. Accessible toilets are located at the West end on the ground floor, as well as the East end in the basement via a lift. For more information visit the website here or contact Southwark Cathedral via its website.
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