Stone from St. Paul's Cathedral
Stone samples from old St. Paul’s Cathedral, maker unknown, before 1666. Pink discolouration is a result of damage sustained during the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Part of the collection of samples of building materials collected by Dr. S.B. Hamilton and Dr. N. Davey of the Building Research Station, Watford.
This is a sample of stone taken from the old St. Paul’s Cathedral (built from 1087 to 1314). The cathedral was already in severe structural decline by the beginning of the 17th century. Sir Christopher Wren was attempting a restoration in 1666 when the cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. At that point, the old structure was demolished, and the present, domed cathedral was erected on the site. The pink discolouration on this stone is fire damage from the intense heat of the burning cathedral. Restoration work had recently started and the whole cathedral was covered in flammable wooden scaffolding. It was hot enough to melt the metal parts of the roof.