Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Southwark (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 32680 80311



TQ3280SE CATHEDRAL STREET 636-1/17/188 (East side) 02/03/50 Cathedral Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie (Southwark Cathedral)


Medieval Augustinian priory of St Mary Overie; Anglican cathedral since 1905. C12 church damaged by fire 1212 and rebuilt from 1220. East front, choir and retrochoir 1214-1260. Choir ceiling and tower pinnacles by George Gwilt Jnr. 1818-27; transepts altered 1830 by Robert Wallace. Nave replaced in 1839-40 by Henry Rose and again in 1890-97 by Sir Arthur Blomfield in C13 style. MATERIALS: knapped flint with stone dressing; tower and transepts of ashlar. PLAN: cruciform with central crossing (north and south transepts with central tower); 7-bay nave, 5-bay presbytery, 3-bay ambulatory at east end. EXTERIOR: lower stage of tower C14 (attributed to Henry Yvele); 2 upper stages of the tower, C14-C15, each with 2-light transomed windows on each face. Early C19 pinnacles by Gwilt. 5-bay E arm with clerestory, E window and flying buttresses to E arm, Gwilt rebuilding of C14 additions. Remains of C12 church in north wall of N transept. Main entrance is the south-west door. INTERIOR: north wall of nave (north aisle), door jambs of late C12 date. Arcading at W end of S wall probably of similar date. Piers with scalloped imposts in E Chapel, also late C12 supporting 2 plain round-headed arches. Choir C13, 3-storey elevation, low arcade with alternating circular and octagonal piers with attached shafts, arcaded wall passage of 4 even arches between arcade and clerestory. Moulded capitals throughout. Single lancet windows in clerestory and a wall passage behind a stepped triplet arch. Quadripartite vaults and clerestory rebuilt by Gwilt, with cast-iron roof trusses above. Grouped lancet windows on the E wall by Gwilt. Retrochoir probably completed by 1260. Four aisles of 3 bays. 6 piers with 4 shafts 'en delit'. Inner aisles taller than the outer ones. C13 double roll bases; dogtooth pattern in E lancets. N and S retrochoir walls windows with bar tracery appear in alternation with lancets. The tracery windows are of 3 lights, the central one taller with 3 unfoiled circles above. Nook shafts with stiffleaf foliage. Restored by Gwilt. The easternmost window of the N side of the retrochoir has Decorated tracery and is a C14 replacement. C14 tracery on blind W wall. The crossing piers towards the nave and E arm have unmoulded C12 arches east and west which predate the fire. The later N and S arches rest on grouped shafts. Above the arches, an arcaded passage of the later C14 on all four sides. N transept: 2-storey, no triforium, clerestory with wall passage and windows of one or two lights. Vaulting shafts of Purbeck marble.4-light N window, 1830, Wallace. S transept: C15 Decorated style. Vaults and S window by Blomfield. Concave hexagon in upper lights of 3-light windows. Nave wholly of 1890-97, except for C12 remains listed above and E responds. Chapter House: offices and restaurant by Ronald Sims 1988. FITTINGS: late medieval nave ceiling bosses remounted and gilded by George Pace. E or Harvard Chapel, mostly by Blomfield, 1907. Spired tabernacle by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, painted and gilded stone and plaster, 1851. Painting:'Pieta' by Garofalo, C16. At west end, black marble font with towering wooden cover by George Bodley. Crossing: brass chandelier 1680. N transept: Lord Mayor's sword rest of wood, 1674, from St Olave. Choir and sanctuary: E wall, early C16 stone reredos given by Bishop Fox d.1526 and restored 1833 by Wallace; statues by Nicholls of Kennington, 1905. C20 High altar retable by Sir Ninian Comper. Lectern, pulpit and stalls, 1890s. Retrochoir: N choir aisle, Elizabethan or 'Nonesuch' chest, gift of Alderman Hugh Offley c 1588. C20 Altars and screens by Sir Ninian Comper. MONUMENTS: E end of N aisle to John Gower, 'famous English Poet', d.1408; E end of S aisle to Shakespeare, 1911 by HW McCarthy. N transept W wall, Joyce Austin monument by Nicholas Stone 1633; N wall, monument to Lionel Lockyer d.1672 and Richard Blisse d.1703. N Choir aisle: wall monument to John Trahearne d.1618. Tomb of Alderman Richard Humble d.1616. Wooden effigy of knight c1280. Retrochoir: 3rd bay from north grave slab to Aleyn Farthing, C13 with Lombardic lettering. S choir aisle monuments: tomb of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes d.1626 by Gerard Janssen, canopy by Blomfield, colouring by Comper; tomb of Edward Talbot d.1934, first Bishop of Southwark (1905-11) by Cecil Thomas. S wall, Greek tablet to Abraham Newland 1807 by John Soane. Fragment of Roman mosaic set into the floor at the steps to the S transept. S transept monuments: W side wall monument to William Emerson d.1575; John Bingham d.1625 by Janssen. S wall tablet to Revd Thomas Jones d.1770 by William Tyler. Monument to Richard Benefield, but in mid C17 costume. To left, wall monument to Thomas Cole, d.1715. Between the E wall arches Bishop Beaufort's arms with cardinal's hat (conferred) 1426. Organ case designed by Blomfield 1897. STAINED GLASS: Harvard Chapel, stained glass by John Lafarge, 1907. W 'Creation' window by Henry Holiday, 1893; N aisle, Kempe, 1900. N choir aisle: 2 lancets by Powell of Whitefriars, 1865 and 1867. Choir: stained-glass window above altar screen 'Lord in Glory' 1950, by Comper. At E end of N wall, Martyr Window, 1890s by Kempe. To S, window of 1920s by Laurence Lee to Thomas Francis Rider, Blomfield's builder. In churchyard, tomb of George Gwilt Jnr, d.1856. C19 stone gate piers with Gothic Revival caps. (RCHME; VCH; The Buildings of England: Cherry B: London 2: South: England: 1983-1984; Pevsner & Metcalf: The Cathedrals of England: 1985-).

Listing NGR: TQ3268580311


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, (1994)
Pevsner, N, Metcalfe, P, The Cathedrals of England: Southern England, (1985)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 24 Feb 2001
Reference: IOE01/03251/31
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David March. Source Historic England Archive
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