Monday, June 13, 2016

The Stones and Monuments of Pre-Fire St Paul's

We are recreating pre-Fire St Paul's in bits and bytes. Good to be reminded that the cathedral survives in the hard reality of rock fragments excavated from the grounds of the cathedral from time to time over the years.

The "Gentle Author" of the Spitalfields Life blog published a nice story about these remains, with lots of pictures, earlier this spring, go here.

The stones gathered above, on display in the Triforium of today's St Paul's, were collected by Francis Penrose, the 19th-century archaeologist, who is important for us because he excavated and surveyed the foundations of Paul's Cross.

 (Effegy of William Cokain, Lord Mayor of London, died 1626) 

Our Gentle Author gives us, in addition to his photographs of the stones of pre-Fire St Paul's, images of funeral monument effigies that still bear the soot of the Great Fire. 

This collection of stones from the pre-Fire cathedral has contributed a great deal to our model. For example, stones that have been traced to the framework to the cathedral's Great East Window have helped John Schofield and his colleagues work out the design of that window. 

I personally am hopeful that at least some of this material will be on display at St Paul's in its Great Fire exhibition opening later this year. 

Time, as always, will tell!

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