Millennium Project, Southwark Cathedral

Southwark, London

The existing Southwark Cathedral building dates from 1220 and is now the oldest Gothic Church in London. It was elevated to Cathedral status in 1906. The Millennium Project was for the construction of a new range of buildings to link the Cathedral’s Victorian offices with the Chapter House.

The new building was constructed in load bearing Clipsham limestone and flints from Norfolk were used to form decorative panels that reflected those on the earlier elevations of the Cathedral. The flints were hand knapped on site. Cadeby stone was carefully salvaged for re-use on the re-modelled Chapter house.

Portland stone was used to construct the four large gate piers and the roof is Westmoreland slate roof with copper detailing. Careful consideration was given to the detailing to ensure that all the materials were compatible and sympathetic with the cathedral, thus tying in the new and old work.

The Grade I Cathedral was restored, cleaned and architecturally lit and the entire churchyard area expanded and landscaped into a public green space.

The development also included a new interactive Visitor’s Centre, a millennium square incorporating a refectory, a library with specially commissioned stained glass by Ben Finn, teaching and seminar rooms and a new walkway where archaeological finds are on view to passers by. A former Roman Road and a 17th-18th century Delftware pottery kiln which were revealed during construction works have been conserved and left exposed at the east end of the street.

Throughout the project high quality traditional skills and materials were used to ensure that the new buildings joined seamlessly to the existing.

Project credentials


Southwark, London


Southwark Cathedral Offices


Natural Stone Crafts Awards 2003
RIBA Awards 2002


Architect: Richard Griffiths Architects
PQS: Citex Bucknall Austin
Structural Engineer: Alan Baxter Associates
Services Engineer: Max Fordham

“...Careful and regular liaison took place with English Heritage at all stages of the project, who also grant aided the restoration works to the Cathedral.”
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