There are places where history passes by with a step as light as gossamer, leaving no trace. St Bride's 'the cathedral of Fleet Street' is not one of them. This site spans two thousand years' development of an island people. Little of importance that has happened in England's story has not been echoed in St Bride's. From the time when the Romans invaded, Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Normans, so many peoples, made this place. Today in the exchange of news, it is parish pump to the world. - Dewi Morgan, former Rector
When you visit St Bride's you are spoilt for choice for things to see but some of the highlights upstairs are:-
- The trompe l'oeil behind the Altar. This was painted by Glyn Jones for the rededication of the church in 1957.
- The Journalists' Altar - formerly The Hostage Altar. This can be found in the north east corner of the church. This side altar became the The Hostage Altar when John McCarthy was held in Beirut between 1986 and 1991. Vigils were held here and candles were lit constantly until he was released. We now call it The Journalists' Altar and it serves as a memorial table to the many journalists and support staff who have who have died in the conflicts of the 21st Century while bringing us the news.
Downstairs you should make sure that you see:-
- The Roman mosaic pavement in the south east corner of the Crypt. This is the earliest evidence of a place of worship on this site.
The Medieval Chapel in the north east corner. This chapel was discovered when the architects needed to investigate the foundations before the present church could be built. In 2002, this chapel was restored as a memorial to the Harmsworth family and the staff of Associated Newspapers who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.
Plaque in Medieval Chapel commemorating family and the staff of Associated Newspapers who lost their lives in the World Wars.
Near to St Bride's:-
- Close at hand you will find a Blue Plaque noting the house where Samuel Pepys was born in Salisbury Court. Pepys was baptised at St Bride's and his brother, Tom, was buried here.
- If you are thirsty pop into The Old Bell pub, the place where Sir Christopher Wren lodged his workmen during the building of the church.
- Venture a little further afield to discover Dr Johnson's House. The vast expansion of the printing industry in Fleet Street in the middle of the 18th century drew interest from intellectuals, actors and artists and this is the charming house where Dr Johnson compiled his great Dictionary of the English Language.