The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 35 Southwark

Interior of Southwark Cathedral - Nave

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Interior of Southwark Cathedral (open all day). NAVE. All the stained glass in the church is modern. The great west window, representing Christ as Creator of the World, is by Henry Holiday. In the south-west corner of the nave is a portion of the Early English arcading; in the north-west corner are a recess, once a seat or a tomb, and the canons' doorway, both Norman relics. The windows in the north aisle (west to east) are memorials to Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74); Dr. Johnson (1709-84); Henry Sacheverell, chaplain of St. Saviour's in 1705-9; Alexander Cruden (1701-70), author of the 'Concordance,' who was buried in Southwark; John Bunyan (1628-88); and Geoffrey Chaucer (circa 1340-1400). Between the last two is the 'Tomb of John Gower (1330-1408), the friend of Chaucer. This is an altar-tomb, with a recumbent effigy of the poet beneath a canopy. The head of 'moral Gower' rests on his three chief works, while his feet are supported by a lion. Gower spent the last years of his life in the priory, to which he was a generous benefactor. Outside the east end of the north aisle, in the new vestry (apply to the verger), are the remains of the prior's doorway and a holy-water stoup (12th century). The windows in the south aisle (from west to east) commemorate dramatists associated with Southwark: Edward Alleyn (1566-1626). Francis Beaumont (1585-1616), John Fletcher (1579-1625), Philip Massinger (1583-1639), and William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Beneath the last is a memorial of Shakespeare by H. W. McCarthy (1912), with a recumbent alabaster figure of the poet and a representation in relief of Southwark in the poet's lifetime.