A Brief History of St. Pauls Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral                           17 May 2009

The land on which St. Paul’s cathedral is now situated is believed to have been a temple to Diana, which was built by the Romans. Historians argue that this roman temple was converted into a Christian church in A.D. 314 by the bishop of London at the time called Restitutus. Other historians believed the first church was constructed by the king of Kent, he stated the church was built for mellitus who was consecrated as the bishop of London in a.d. 604 by st Augustine. It is believed that the Cathedral's name came from Mellitus who had a special devotion to St. Paul. He dedicated the Church to St. Paul instead of St. Peter, who was the more common patron for cathedrals at the time. Perhaps, the fact that Westminster Abbey had already been dedicated to St. Peter influenced the choice of St. Paul.
At the end of the eleventh century, the city wanted to renovate the church. Authorities contemplated whether or not to elevate the church into a cathedral. It is thought that even William the conqueror may have participated in the debate. It became a cathedral. However, the fire of 1087 destroyed the entire building. It is believed that Bishop Maurice began the construction of a new building around 1088. Another fire broke out in 1136 near London Bridge and damaged the structure of the church. It was slowly rebuilt. In 1444 during the reign of King Henry VI, the steeple of St. Paul's was set on fire by lightning and was not fixed until 1462.   The next fire was in the year 1561 during the Elizabethan period. This fire was the result of a thunderstorm. The spire of the Cathedral was struck by lightning, and the steeple was burnt and fell. After seeing that the steeple had burnt down twice in storms, Acts of God, the authorities decided that it was best not to rebuild it. By the reign of King James I the Cathedral was in very poor condition. James I was asked to visit the Church. After viewing it, the King sent for the...