Guided Tour of St Paul's Cathedral
Friday 18th March 2016
Fourteen members of the club joined the Master for a tour of St Paul's which was lead by our excellent guide Richard Parker, a St Paul's volunteer. The Cathedral, designed by scientist and mathematician Christopher Wren and known for its many state ceremonies (including the funerals of the Duke of Wellington, Nelson and more recently Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher) was completed in its current form in 1708.
Our morning tour featured the chapel of St Michael and St George, the many monuments and the wonderful crypt where we saw Wellington's tomb and St Faith's chapel, incorporated because St Pauls encroached on the site of St Faith's.
In the afternoon Richard took us behind the scenes in the Triforium, housing the Library, Broderers' room and 'stuff'! After an energetic climb of the beautifully made spiral staircase, we were entertained in somewhat Dickensian surroundings to features of the Library and its smell! Apparently a student is undertaking a PhD on 'smells' !
As we crossed from the South to the North of the Triforium we saw the breathtaking splendour of St Paul's picked up so often by television cameras. A visit to the Broderers' room was an unexpected joy. A group of ladies, no more than about 14 in total, work twice a week caring for the exquisite ecclesiastical vestments. We saw the restoration of a panel which had been painted over(!) and the remaking of a cope to fit the rather more slender frame of a woman!
Our visit ended by viewing the architectural drawings and model of St Paul's and other 'stuff' which included a marble pulpit and a huge brass lectern! Now, how did the stuff find its way up to the Triforium?
Sincere thanks to our outstanding guide, Richard Parker.