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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 oldest bits of this building date back more than 800 years. The retro-choir was the setting for several Protestant martyr trials during the reign of Mary Tudor. Inside there are memorials to Shakespeare, John Harvard (benefactor of the American university) and Sam Wanamaker (the motivation and driving force behind the reconstruction of the Globe.) Stained glass windows feature Geoffrey Chaucer and characters from 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', 'Hamlet' and 'The Tempest', and displays throughout the cathedral explain its history.
The Cathedral operates as more than just a tourist spot, with daily services, classical music concerts and public events. It also offers a gift shop and cheerful café.
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