Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723)

Mathematician, Astronomer and one of the country’s most distinguished Architects, Wren was best known for the design of many London churches, including St Paul’s Cathedral. He was a founder of the Royal Society and his scientific work was highly regarded by Sir Isaac Newton.

Wren & The City

“Here in its foundations lies the architect of this church and city, Christopher Wren, who lived beyond ninety years, not for his own profit but for the public good. Reader, if you seek his monument – look around you. Died 25 Feb. 1723, age 91.”

Sir Christopher Wren’s epitaph in St Paul’s speaks volumes in terms of why he is so important to so many. Wren built a direct tribute to those who lost their homes, livelihoods and lives during the fire: built by 1677, the Monument is a 62m high Doric column with extensive views of the City of London. It stands where the first church razed by the fire – St. Margaret’s, Fish Street – once stood.


The Fire of London

Fire is an emotive subject for everyone and rarely forgotten. On September 2, 1666, a fire started in London — it destroyed the homes of 70,000 out of the 80,000 City inhabitants. The Great Fire of London remains the greatest single driver of architectural change and urban innovation in the London’s history.

Wren’s Churches

In 1670, the first of the Wren churches was built; 87 churches had been destroyed in the fire, some parishes were united, and 51 were eventually rebuilt. Over the next 46 years, Wren was to design and supervise the building of these churches (and much more).

St. Paul’s Cathedral was Wren’s masterpiece, designed for a series of very specific purposes – the cathedral of the capital, the theatre of monarchy, the social nexus of the population of the city and a symbol of the commercial virility of the city. It was visited pre-pandemic by 1.72m visitors from around the world, presenting a rich tapestry of British history that is relevant to millions of people and communities.

Christopher Wren’s Commercial Interests: A Reflection

Canon Dr Paula Gooder, Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, reflects on research the Cathedral has engaged in about Christopher Wren and his commercial interests, as well as the challenge of living ethically.

Christopher Wren’s Commercial Interests: A Reflection

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