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Old St. Paul's from the River; c 1635

Michel van Overbeek

Old St. Paul's from the River; c 1635
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 16cm

Full image caption

Michel van Overbeek's drawing shows the view towards Blackfriars and the City, with old St Paul's Cathedral dominating the half-timbered buildings clustered round it. This view is before the Great Fire of London started.
Much of the cathedral's massive lantern tower is under scaffolding. The tower had previously been surmounted by a spire, but this was destroyed by fire in 1561. By the late 17th century the tower was in poor condition (as were other parts of the building) and there was some debate about whether to replace it with a cupola. A report of the time proposes 'That ye steeple in ye Ist place be scaffolded ... for ye taking it down'. The scaffolding was erected in 1663 and remained in place until 1666, when the Great Fire engulfed the building, rendering the tower-versus-cupola argument redundant.

Image Details

1633 AD - 1666 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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