Southwark Cathedral is most certainly Bankside’s oldest venue which has played host to some incredible events and historic figures alike. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on the venue to discover what makes it such an incredible institution which has stood the test of time.
History and Heritage
Dating back to 1220, the Cathedral is London’s oldest Gothic church and according to the Doomsday book, a place of worship has stood on the site at the southern end of London Bridge since the time of William the Conqueror.
Whilst the Cathedral is a place of worship first and foremost, it also caters to a wide range of events, from the likes of Hollywood premier parties to London Fashion Week. The building itself is a stunning feat of architecture and is full of history, which can only bring a sense of elegance and grandeur to any event.
Once the local parish for William Shakespeare, all visitors should look out for the beautiful memorial stained glass window which depicts the playwright’s most famous works. There’s also the Harvard Chapel, a tribute to university founder John Harvard who was born in the parish.
Events in the Cathedral
Unlike many other places of worship in London, areas within the cathedral itself are available for hire on selected dates throughout the year. The imposing and regal main hall, the Nave, provides the perfect backdrop for fine dining dinners and standing receptions of up to 800 people. The space can be dressed for any occasion, with multiple options for tables, seating, lighting and décor.
Thought to be the loveliest part of the cathedral, the Retro Choir is well suited to smaller, more intimate events than the Nave but in equally impressive surroundings. The area is available for cocktail parties and drinks receptions for up to 200 people on selected dates in November. Lighting, flowers, music and theming can all be arranged to make each event in the Retro Choir unique and make the most of the design features of the building.
Southwark Cathedral’s catering supplier Elior can create bespoke menus for fine dining, buffets, bowl food and canapés and can supply a fully licensed, well stocked bar.
The new Millennium
In 2000, the venue opened their Millennium building which was unveiled by Nelson Mandela. Just adjacent to the cathedral, the building hosts six conference and meeting rooms that can accommodate numbers up to 120 people. From the impressive Garry Weston Library, to smaller spaces such as the Desmond Tutu room, this modern conference centre is an ideal choice for intimate meetings to large training sessions.