London is full of some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in the world. Take a look at our guide to historic churches in London to be sure you go and see them during your visit to the capital city.
St Paul’s Cathedral
An imposing and instantly recognisable cathedral with a rich history! With a neo-classical façade, St Paul’s is visible from many locations in London. There has been a church of some form on the site of St Paul’s since the year 600 – though this original was wooden rather than made from more enduring materials as subsequent incarnations have been. In 1087, the Normans began building a new cathedral which wasn’t completed until 1314. At this time, it was considered the highest building of the medieval period. Much of this tower was destroyed by lightning and decay over time, before the Great Fire of London finished off what was left in 1666.
It was after this time that the St Paul’s Cathedral we all recognise today began to be constructed by the architect Christopher Wren. The building took 40 years to construct in its present form. As one might expect, the cathedral contains the tombs and monuments of many figures from history, including the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Nelson.
A world-famous abbey, often used for Royal ceremonies and weddings. Since 1066 and the ascent to the throne of William the Conqueror, Westminster Abbey has been used for every single coronation of an English King and/or Queen. There are many famed figures from history buried within the abbey, including royalty such as Elizabeth I, the author Charles Dickens, and scientists Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
The history of the abbey predates even the Norman invasion right back to around the 7th century, though it has been built and rebuilt on the same site many times since then. The abbey as we recognise it has a beautiful gothic exterior, and an opulent interior adorned with richly ornamented ceilings, statues and monuments.
One of the oldest churches in the UK, dating back to at least 1222 when it was first mentioned in manuscripts. The church was another high-profile victim of the Great Fire of London in 1666, when it was demolished. The current church building was designed by architect James Gibbs. St Martin-in-the-Fields hosts popular lunchtime and evening concerts and also has the added addition of a coffee shop in its crypt.
The mother church of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Westminster Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster. Opening in 1903, the building is in a neo-Byzantine style, filled with attractive decorative mosaics and constructed from a blend of brick and concrete. The Grand Organ, constructed between 1922-1932, is considered one of the most successful and impressive of its kind. Several former archbishops of Westminster are buried within the grounds of the Cathedral.
What is the famous Cathedral in London?
The apparently most famous arquitect of London of that time, Sir Christopher Wren, designed, beside many other buildings, the St. Paul’s Cathedral. His model was the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, from which the high similarity of the two buildings result.
What is the biggest church in London?
St Paul’s Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London and is a Grade I listed building.