Southwark Cathedral

Music, Classical and opera South Bank
Southwark Cathedral
Tricia de Courcy Ling Southwark Cathedral

Oft overlooked by Borough Market shoppers (though its toilets are a handy stop, and its pretty churchyard an alfresco lunchtime destination), the nearby Southwark Cathedral is actually a fascinating historic site. The building is largely Victorian (though it does star a beautiful 13th century retro-choir originally among other ancient features), and houses the tomb of John Gower as well as that of William Shakespeare's brother, Edmond. Other Shakespearean highlights include a stained glass window above depicting characters from 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', 'Hamlet' and 'The Tempest' as well as a plaque honouring the great Sam Wanamaker, champion of the recreated Shakespeare's Globe. The Cathedral operates as more than just a tourist spot, with daily services, classical music concerts and public events. It also offers a religion-themed gift shop and cheerful refectory.

Posted:

Venue name: Southwark Cathedral
Contact:
Address: Montague Close
London
SE1 9DA
Transport: Tube/BR: London Bridge
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Tastemaker

Literally a few steps away from the hustle of Borough Market is the calm oasis of Southwark Cathedral. It is a wonderful mixture of old and new. It contains a wooden effigy of a knight from the 13th Century, reputedly the oldest in Britain and its Northern cloister was opened I 2001 by Nelson Mandela. There are monuments and memorials from many time periods in between. There is a stained glass window and bas-relief dedicated to Shakespeare, his brother Edmund is buried here. The outside has some quite scary looking gargoyles and even some visible shrapnel damage from Southwark heavy bombardment during WWII.

Walk through the church into the garden and you can sit in verdant peace, with the noise of the market in the background. An often overlooked gem in the heart of tourist London.