Old Saint Paul's


File:St Paul's old. From Francis Bond, Early Christian Architecture. Last book 1913..jpg


File:St Pauls Cathedral in 1896.JPG


File:St Pauls aerial (cropped).jpg



Saint Paul's Cathedral  has existed as 5 or 6 churches or cathedrals at Ludgate Hill in the City of London, all dedicated to Saint Paul.

The first and subsequent places of worship at Ludgate Hill were :

The Roman Temple to the god Diana.

The 1st Saint Paul's Church  -  built by Bishop Mellitus, later Saint Mellitus in 604 AD, it was used until the time of Bishop Earconwald in 675 AD.

The 2nd Saint Paul's Cathedral  -  built by Bishop Cedd, later Saint Cedd in 685 AD, it was used until 961 AD during the time of Bishop Aelfstan.

The 3rd Saint Paul's Cathedral  -  built by Bishop Aelfstan in 962 AD, it was used until 1087 AD during the time of Bishop Maurice.

The 4th Saint Paul's Cathedral  -  started by Bishop Maurice in 1087, it was first used in 1240 during the time of Bishop Roger Niger. This cathedral was still being built until 1314 AD during the time of Bishop Ralph Baldock and Bishop Gilburt Segrave, it continued in use until 1666 AD.

The 5th Saint Paul's Cathedral  -  built by Christopher Wren in 1675 to 1710 AD, it started being used by Bishop Henry Compton and it is still being used today, exactly as it was when Wren built it.

Although the bishops commissioned and presided over the work to construct the new churches and cathedrals, the order or approval and the cost of them was born by the kings in power at those times.

It was King William I - The Conquerer who ordered the building of the new much larger cathedral which has been called "The Old Saint Paul's". It was in construction for 227 years from 1087 to 1314 AD and it was in use as a church from 1240 to 1675 AD.

The illustrations above show the early Bishop Maurice cathedral without a spire. Below that, is the later modified Bishop Maurice cathedral, but with a spire and other structures added. Later still in 1561 AD, Saint Paul's wooden spire was struck by lightning which set it on fire and completely destroyed the spire which was never rebuilt.

During the Great Fire of London in 1666, the entire Saint Paul's Cathedral caught fire and it was destroyed