A living history, spanning nine centuries from the 12th century to the present day, is contained within the foundations, walls and roofs of Southwark Cathedral

The nave incorporates many fragments of the Priory Church which survived the fire of 1212, including early 12th century Caen stone arcading. The earliest surviving parts of the structure provide evidence of the first Gothic church to be constructed in London: the choir, the retrochoir, the choir-aisles, the lower part of the tower and one or two fragments of masonry within the nave were probably being built before any other important work in the emergent Early English style was attempted in London. The last significant building phase, the rebuilding of the nave, was completed in the late 19th century to the designs of Sir Arthur Blomfield.

The following future renovation and repair works are important priorities for Southwark Cathedral. Funding was provided by the Millennium Commission to create step-free access to the Cathedral building in previous years, and these plans will further this work by enabling access to the East End of the Cathedral and the Harvard Chapel.

Step-free Access to the Cathedral’s East End 

The Cathedral is very concerned with providing better access for all, and enabling better access for those with disability to the whole of the East End of the Cathedral. It is a large and complex task involving the main liturgical space under the crossing.

Step-free Access to the Harvard Chapel

Access to the Harvard Chapel is not easy for those with disability, as the entrance is via steps down into the chapel. This needs to be improved as the Chapel is the location for many of our daily services and also set aside for private prayer.


Donations to the Cathedral Fabric Fund will help to ensure that we are able to restore and maintain this beautiful building, and improve access.

If you would like to donate to the Cathedral Fabric Fund, please click here

For more information about the work of the Trust please contact the Development Trust Treasurer by email - matthew.knight@southwark.anglican.org