Sunday, August 03, 2014

St Paul’s Cathedral

One of the scenes I remember the most from Mary Poppins as I was growing up, is the sight of the Banks children being told about the old woman who sits on the steps of the cathedral, feeding the birds for “tuppence a bag”.  Oh, I knew those songs by heart and I still love them!

Yesterday I was ON those same steps, the steps  of St Pauls….reliving that childhood movie in my mind.

St Paul’s is as beautiful inside as it is out, but you really can’t get in there without a hefty admittance fee, and since we only had 30 minutes it just wasn’t a good time to dawdle, though I would have loved to.

One thing I have found about London---the buildings are so close together that it is hard to get far enough away to include the whole building in your shot.  If I could get the top spires, the photo wouldn't include the steps, if I took photos of the steps, I was missing the dome and the other architecture.

So this is kind of a dissected version of St Paul’s Cathedral  Magificent as it is!


Shooting from HERE gave me this shot:


Not enough!

So here are other photos I took around the grounds in no certain order that I can determine:


Gateway, spire behind.


Ancient gate!


Our crowd and our guide talking about the gate --


The famous dome of St Paul’s.


Side of front spire


Front looking up


Bottom half of front from across the street.

((And still not far enough away to fit in the whole thing and I couldn’t move back any farther!))


Front statue


Crazy winged angel-fairy in Irish colors with a tennis racquet shooting tennis balls at the front.

((WHAT?!?? I know right?!))


The top of the steps

Sing along with me now…”Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…..”


Inside the vestibule ----

Some entombed guy.  Through the iron bars at a side alter…no sign telling who this is.  I’d google it, but I’m writing this in the hotel room where I’m not connected to wifi.


The ONE picture I took of the inside….

BEFORE someone stopped me and told me that photos were not allowed.  OOPS!  My Bad!  And seriously, there was no signage anywhere stating that photos were not allowed.  

It’s a church, it’s still an active place of worship.  But it is treated like a museum, and I am sure there are lots of expenses on maintenance and cleaning and upkeep and repair because thousands of people flock to this spot daily….but I can’t help but think if Jesus H Christ himself walked in the door, they’d tell HIM that he couldn’t take photos either. 

And.  They would charge him 20 pounds admittance.

**End of soap box**

I was hoping for some tile floor inspiration from this tourist stop, but since we couldn't really get in..it will have to wait for another time!

Today was V & A Museum day!  More photos of our England Adventure 2014 to follow!

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  1. There are lots of places that don't allow photos and don't have great signage (ask me how I know!) Best to just ask whoever is selling tickets or guarding the doorway...I did find saying "I'm so sorry, I must have missed the sign" with a southern accent and a smile lets you get away with a lot in England!

  2. Anonymous3:38 PM EDT

    Hello Bonnie and welcome to the UK. Sorry to hear that you are finding it SO expensive. We have a long way to go to catch up with you with Wifi, sorry! Your entombed guy was Lord Kitchener a hero in his time but looking back perhaps he wasn't such a nice fellow, I'll leave you to read about his exploits. You are sure to get a warm welcome in Birmingham but you will find out why we stock up on fabric when we get to the US. You will find out what EXPENSIVE is!

  3. Anonymous3:52 PM EDT

    Was Lord Kitchener the inventor of that contrary knit stitch that we use to "invisibly" join sections of work?

  4. I hoped you'd get to see the real England, you're just going to see the tourist stuff. Come again, stay with me and I'll show you the real England.

  5. I hoped you'd get to see the real England, you're just going to see the tourist stuff. Come again, stay with me and I'll show you the real England.

  6. Once I read your comment about the song Feed the Birds I was humming it. Yup, I know all those songs too. I don't know how many times we saw it. Then my family bought the record and we played that a million times. Sounds like you are having fun!

  7. I love St Paul's....that was one of two cathedrals that have brought me to tears (the other was the Notre Dame in Paris). I don't remember having to pay an admission when we were there a few years ago....Enjoy your travels...London is so neat, and I'll bet you'll want to go back on your own sometime with the Hubster!

  8. You all remember who was married there don't you?

  9. Anonymous4:53 PM EDT

    Dragonlady: Lord Kitchener, you can make out some of the words on the edge of the memorial

  10. Hello Bonnie,

    The tomb is an empty monument. Lord Kitchener went down with the HMS Hampshire off the Orkneys in 1916.

    TWENTY QUID!! Crikey, that's a bit steep.

  11. Anonymous5:39 PM EDT

    724601Just last week or so saw a PBS or a History channel or Hational Geographic or some such program that showed the inside of the dome of St Paul's and how it was made -- and repaired from cracks occurring during the war and from errors on the part of the architect (Christopher Wren, I believe?) that needed redressing even as he was building it -- The outside differs from the inside of the dome and is totally fascinating to see. Mind-boggling!

  12. The only way to get a great photo of many places is to buy a postcard! My roomie in college taught me that and it works great (just scan them onto the computer later.)

  13. Anonymous6:21 PM EDT

    You lucky girl. I remember hearing how they had to station men on at the base of the St. Pauls' dome during WWII, to put out the fires when London was being bombed. Fascinating History. And YOU are there, have a great you deserve it.
    Jean Farley

  14. Great Posts everybody...love it! Love the pics Bonnie...thanks for letting us see. This might be morbid but soon as I read who you didn't know who was in the tomb I'd find it in the comments...Bahaha...yep...I was right. LOL! Love history so the comments are great! Now I need to google what a quid is. LOL! Oh and fairy lady with the tennis balls!! Hilarious...it's ok ...we have a few in the US too. LOL!

  15. When I was at this church is was Easter Sunday and we actually went to Church. They didn't charge us to attend the service.

  16. Anonymous7:05 PM EDT

    Twenty Pounds!! Last time I was there the suggested donation was probaly closer to 2 pounds! Have they gold-plated something since then? Geesh
    Judith Inge judithuk2002@yahoo.co.uk

  17. When I took students to Europe I suggested that they buy postcards of the sights as well as take pictures. They took pre-adressed labels of friends, send them the postcard with the understanding that they return the postcard to the sender. It was fun to compare the cards with the photos taken.

  18. Anonymous8:40 PM EDT

    Both St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey have services, which are free to attend. Evensong is a favorite of mine. It's like a concert and a service rolled into one. I really think that the best way to appreciate those cathedrals is to experience their function - as houses of worship. Even if it's not your faith, there is something inspiring and moving about attending a service.

  19. I loved that movie too!

    For 20 pounds this is not being treated as a house of worship, but as a tourist site. Photography (without flash) should definitely be allowed.

    Have a great trip!

  20. All the famous churches and sites in London charge hefty entrance fees. It's really expensive to keep up those amazing places, and that's what the fees are for... roofs and such. The best way to do it is to buy a "London Pass" that gives you entry to several places for one much lower fee. But then, you can see plenty just from the outside. The churches ARE museums. They are so old and have so many people entombed right in their floors and walls.

    By the way, I have only seen the "H" inserted in Jesus Christ's name when it was used as a curse word. Was that really necessary?

  21. I enjoy reading about your trip. I like the pictures as they remind me of our trip to England. We went to the evening service at St. Paul's there wasn't any fee.
    I don't know if this will

  22. Anonymous9:57 PM EDT

    Yes, was the "H" necessary?

  23. All these posts are wonderful. I'm learning a lot too. I've always heard London was an expensive city. Sounds like it's caught you off guard. Thank you for posting your photos and writing of your experiences, "H" and all. I love reading about your adventures. Hopefully you'll see more wonderful sites that won't bruise your wallet.

  24. Since I can read "Khartoum" on that memorial, it's got to be Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, hero of Crimean War & WWI, I think.

    I envy you your visit; I'll be there (my first time too) in October. Have a great time!

  25. I enjoy reading about your travels and your quilt work is outstanding. Disappointed with the use of "H".

  26. Anonymous10:42 PM EDT

    Liz Powell

  27. Anonymous10:49 PM EDT

    Kitchener was a WW 1 "Hero".

    As for St Pauls, pre-war and pre major re-builds around it my mother in her late teens worked at offices nearby and used to take her lunch, on fine days to St Pauls Churchyard to sit and eat it, along with lots more office 'girls'. Hanging in my DD's dining room are a set of China Plates she bought in the late 30's, just before her wedding,from a rather nice little china shop adjoining the Churchyard. They depict classic "Cries of London".
    As for the rest of England; go anywhere and set yourself a 10 mile circle and explore within it; there is so much to see and do that few areas do not work for this plan! Liz P.

  28. Mary LaPointe11:14 PM EDT

    Please look at other cathedrals, I was in the Midlands and paid a "donation" and was allowed to take photos. The floors were the best examples of quilt patterns!

  29. England is so fascinating Bonnie! Since we in the USA are so very tied, with our history and much of our culture, to the UK, it is thrilling to actually be there.

    As many photos as you take, they will never convey the grandeur of the places. We enjoyed London...but the English countryside - in all of the different areas - is like a story book. We have gone back so many times.

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  30. I loved Mary Poppins too. Thank You for sharing this photo and the story. I was thinking about Mary Poppins today and what an impact it had on me as a child. Bless you.

  31. It costs a fortune to keep our ancient buildings in good repair. Just looked up costs for St Paul's - £15 MILLION per year! No Government grant so the cathedral has to generate its own income. No photography allowed because it is a place of worship and everyone taking pictures would be too distracting for wor shippers. We were in Canterbury cathedral recently and I think their charge was about £19. When you are in smaller churches there is no charge but it is nice to pop a donation into a box set in the church wall. It's a shame you are on such a tight schedule and that you couldn't take your time to take in the majesty and awe of this wonderful part of our heritage. Signage re cameras is usually a discrete grayish coloured sign depicting a camera with a big cross through it.

  32. Just for interest have a look in an estate agent's (realtor) window and see how much a house costs here in the UK! Twenty quid to go into St. Paul's may then seem like a bargain.

  33. I also love "Feed the birds" and once had a picture of St Paul's just because it reminded me of Mary Poppins. Have a lovely time!

  34. The floor at the top of the steps would make a lovely quilt design. Just wait till you get to the midlands. the scenery is wonderful. Bath is superb and full of history. Although I live here in sunny Cornwall I will be following your travels, they are bringing back such happy memories for me. Enjoy your stay, maybe I will get to the States one day.

  35. I hope you managed to get photos of the wonderful tiles floors at the V & A.......always thought they would make super quilts. As to the costs.......get the tour organiser to make this travel pass an optional extra.saves a lot, gives fast track entry and can come with a Travelcard for London transport. https://www.londonpass.com/how-it-works/index.html#.U997SfldXX4

  36. Anonymous9:22 AM EDT

    When it is time for the Mystery you post "No Whining".

    Around Washington DC it is common to pay $25 a day for internet access. When my husband wants to e-mail me he uses the lobby.

    There is a lot of free stuff to do in London. I'm sure the people in your tour group paid a lot to be on the tour with you.


  37. When we went to England the best advice we got was to buy the tour books in the gift shops. You get the history and fantastic photos all in one. Of course, this was b4 digital cameras - LOL! ENJOY!

  38. I had an hour layover in London many years ago. I was 16 years old and going back to Texas by myself. I was one scared Kid! They told every one that we would have to get off of the plane for one hour while the plane was cleaned. Every one got off except Me. I was afraid that I would not find the right plane again. I moved from place to place in the plane while it was cleaned.

  39. Just get the guidebook for all the places you visit. They are usually reasonably priced and the pictures are great. Then you have them to read at your leisure. Have a great time.

  40. I am offended by the "H", too. So disrespectful and uncaring of many followers of this blog. I just put Quiltville in SPAM. I'm surprised a lightening bolt didn't hit the soapbox! LOL

  41. Lord Kitchener for you


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