In front of you is the oldest gothic church in London, rebuilt in 1212 after a fire severely damaged the Norman church. The site has been a place of worship for 1,400 years. First as a Saxon convent, thought to have been founded in 606, it became the Priory of St. Mary for Augustinian canons in 1106. The canons established the famous hospital of St. Thomas that was moved to Lambeth in the 19th century. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1539 the Priory Church became the Parish Church of St. Saviour, in the Diocese of Winchester. In 1905 it was made a Cathedral with its own diocese, to serve the spiritual and material needs of south London's growing population.
In monastic times the parish church was in the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene formerly on the south side of the chancel (to your left) but demolished in 1822 during restoration work on the choir. You are looking down at the East Churchyard which contains the foundations of the 14th-century Lady Chapel and Bishop Andrewes' burial chapel. There also used to be houses built right up to the church. All these were demolished in the 1830s to make way for the approach road to John Rennie's new London Bridge. An outstanding scholar, Bishop Andrewes was part of the committee which translated the Bible into English for King James I in 1611.
Green Dragon Court (SE1 9AW), London, United Kingdom