St Paul's Cathedral: Archaeology and History [Paperback]

John Schofield (Author)

ISBN: 9781789258059 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2022 | Language: English 208p, H280 x W216 (mm) Colour

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St Paul's Cathedral


This is the first volume concerned solely with the archaeology of a major late 17th-century building in London, and the major changes it has undergone. St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London was built in 1675–1711 to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren and has been described as an iconic building many times.

In this major new account, John Schofield examines the cathedral from an archaeological perspective, reviewing its history from the early 18th to the early 21st century, as illustrated by recent archaeological recording, documentary research and engineering assessment. A detailed account of the construction of the cathedral is provided based on a comparison of the fabric with voluminous building accounts which have survived and evidence from recent archaeological investigation. The construction of the Wren building and its embellishments are followed by the main works of later surveyors such as Robert Mylne and Francis Penrose.

The 20th century brought further changes and conservation projects, including restoration after the building was hit by two bombs in World War II, and all its windows blown out. The 1990s and first years of the present century have witnessed considerable refurbishment and cleaning involving archaeological and engineering works. Archaeological specialist reports and an engineering review of the stability and character of the building are provided.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Purpose and research setting
Histories, documentary evidence and main graphic sources
Archaeological recording of the Wren cathedral and in St Paul’s Churchyard
Conventions of archaeological recording
2. The construction of the Wren cathedral, 1666–1720
Temporary arrangements for worship, demolition of the medieval cathedral and removal of debris, and features of the construction site
Adapting the medieval chapter house, 1667–1714 (Wren’s site office from 1671)
Construction of the cathedral, 1675–1711
The drainage system for the site, 1687–1710
The railings and gates around the cathedral
Buildings around the edge of the Churchyard, and the Deanery
Use of materials: reused stone, new stone, brick, pantiles and timber
3. The cathedral in the 18th and 19th centuries
The interior and general stability concerns, 1711 to 1897
The archaeology of burials, 1680 to 2000
The outside of the building, 1711–1900
St Paul’s Churchyard inside and outside the railings, 1711–1900
Use of stone and other building materials, 1711–1900
4. St Paul’s 1897–2013: protection and conservation
The first decades of the 20th century, the works of 1925–35, and the creation of St Paul’s Heights and St Paul’s Depths
Damage in World War II
Post-War planning and archaeological work to 2014
5. Conclusions: towards an archaeology of Christopher Wren within the history of the cathedral
6. Specialist reports
Pottery and clay tobacco pipes
Non-ceramic artefacts
Detailed notes on the investigation of the nave roof, 2013
Human bone
Coffins and coffin furniture
Lawrence Spencer, Clerk of Works, and his family
7. The engineer’s view of St Paul’s
Description of the structure
Concerns over the stability of the structure
The material in the core of the masonry
8. Gazetteer of sites
Bibliography and abbreviations

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