St. Paul's Cathedral


Understanding the importance of St. Paul's Cathedral as the centre of London

For over 600 years. the nearest bridge to London Bridge was at Kingston in Surrey. By owning and managing London Bridge, the Corporation of London resisted the building of other bridges over the Thames in case it diminished their control over trade and traffic.

This meant that St Paul's Church was the centre of a growing and busy metropolis. As such, it was a symbol that had to be seen from afar by residents, travellers and pilgrims alike.

Despite its religious importance, it is what happens outside, after religious ceremonies, which acted as a magnet. To fully appreciate the significance of great churches in society, it is necessary to forget modern day trends that news travels faster than the speed of light. In earlier times, news arrived on the steps of great churches or in the surrounding locations (coffeehouses, clubs etc). News was discussed, acted upon and circulated. Trades such as publishing, dealing in commodities and banking were depended as today on authenticated news rather than rumours.

Westminster with its Palace was the political and cultural hub of London and the City has always been its financial and economic centre.

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