London Sights

Southwark Cathedral

  • London Bridge Map It
  • Bankside
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 08/30/2016

Fodor's Review

Pronounced "Suth-uck," this is the oldest Gothic church in London, parts of it dating back to the 12th century. It remains off the beaten track, despite being the site of some remarkable memorials and a concert program that offers regular organ recitals at lunchtime on Monday (except in August and December) and classical music at 3:15 on Tuesday (except in December), with frequent additional musical events on Saturday evenings. Originally the priory church of St. Mary Overie (as in "over the water," on the South Bank), it became a palace church under Henry VIII and was only promoted to cathedral status in 1905. Look for the vivid 15th-century roof bosses (small ornamental wood carvings), the gaudily renovated 1408 tomb of John Gower, Richard II's poet laureate and a friend of Chaucer's, and for the Harvard Chapel, where John Harvard, a local butcher's son who went on to found the American university, was baptized. Another notable buried here (between the choir stalls) is Edmond Shakespeare, brother of William. The Refectory serves full English breakfasts, light lunches, and teas, as well as summer barbecues (weekdays 9–6, weekends 10–6).

Sight Information


London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA, England

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Sight Details:

  • Free (suggested donation £4)

Published 08/30/2016


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