musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral was the first cathedral in the UK that I saw the interior of, and it does have a special significance to me because my grandmother grew up very close to the building and may even have attended there are one time.
Unfortunately it has become hemmed in and tends to blend with the surroundings, making you forget that there is a cathedral right under your nose.
 
 
This was also the first cathedral that I photographed and back then did not know too much about the structure of such a building and what to expect.so my pics are really a hodge podge. 
 
Parts of it were also out of bounds so I did not get to see everything, and the little old ladies at the door were very insistent that flash photography was not allowed, and that a permit was needed to photograph within the cathedral.
southwark_cathedral054
 
 
 
It was also in this cathedral that I saw my first effigy, I had seen wall memorials in a local parish church, although that had just piqued my curiosity more.
  
 
As mentioned before, trying to fathom the complete building is quite difficult, and of course a map is always a handy thing to be able to refer to.
 
and a model helps a bit as well.
 
I am not sure whether my grandmother or her siblings were baptised in the cathedral, although she was born in the late 1890’s and by then it was still a parish church. If she had been baptised here then as a baby she may have seen the font cover depicted below.
Of course there are many aspects to a cathedral that are merely decorative and some are decorative and functional too.
 
 
Yet, a cathedral is also a place where you attended church on a Sunday (or whenever you could or had to), and the pulpit was the place where the sermon was delivered from.  Many of these pulpits are ornately carved creations and very old. Could my grandmother have listen to the parish priest preaching from this pulpit?
 

What I did find strange was that there were no real pews as I know them, instead there are loose chairs. It must have been quite noisy when everybody stood up to sing a hymn and pushed their chairs backwards.

And yes, there is a war memorial, but instead of showing that I would like to show two other memorials that are in the cathedral.
And of course there is the Marchioness Disaster Memorial. This happened on the 20th of August 1989 near Canon Street Railway Station Bridge. 51 People lost their lives and the event is commemorated at the cathedral.
Southwark Cathedral has been around for a long time, and the history within it is not always pleasant. It is in the nature of buildings like this that they become a beacon of hope for those around them, and centres for the community to engage with their “Maker”. The hopes and dreams of people are within these walls too, and for many it was the place where they were laid to rest. The churchyard here has been swallowed up a long time ago and I really had to look to find evidence that it even existed at all.
There are enough clues to be able to say that part of the graveyard is outside these windows, but there are no visible headstones to confirm anything. One of the information signs does mention a churchyard, but was not too specific about the location, or extent of it. Within the walls of the Cathedral are excavated areas that are on display, and there is a stone coffin amongst those excavations.
If buildings could talk, just what would Southwark Cathedral have to say to us?

The facts remain:

A church has stood on this site for over 1400 years
A convent was founded in 606AD
A monastery established by St Swithun in the 9th Century became and Augustinian Priory under the Normans in 1106AD, and Norman stonework can still be seen. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1539 the Priory Church became the Parish Church of St Saviour in the diocese of Winchester.
It is the first Gothic church to be built in London (1212)
It was consecrated as a cathedral in 1905

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