194 dizzying steps later we arrived at the top floor of the cathedral. I have to say, that climbing this magnificent staircase was a bit unnerving, due to the fact that there were no visible means of support. They were just sticking out of the wall! This upper level reminded me of a backstage area of a great theater, with unused treasures strewn about. One interesting thing that I noticed were the set of keys being carried around by Mr. Wisdom. It was an ancient looking key ring with several oddly and uniquely shaped keys. They reminded my of something that a sheriff would have carried around in the wild wild west. I couldn’t help but wonder what other doors and hidey holes they would open.
When Mr. Wisdom opened the door to the
The collection is theologically based and consists of 20,000 bibliographic items and 13,500 physical volumes. These consist of prayer books, biographies, philosophical works and religious studies. I did catch a glimpse among all these old and ancient books of the bright red cover of a “Who’s Who 2006”, which along with the old computer, rather stood out like a sore thumb. One item of special interest that Mr. Wisdom pointed out was a late 12th/early 13th century book of Psalms.
As fascinating as this collection is, it is not the original, as that was lost in the Great Fire of London in 1666. I was a bit disappointed that we were unable to wander around more. We were confined to this little roped in area at the entrance way. I do understand though because of the delicacy of this rare collection, and I was thankful that were able to see it at all.
Link to St. Paul's Cathedral
Link to St. Paul's Cathedral Library
St. Paul's Cathedral
*Photo courtesy www.londonpass.com
St. Paul's Cathedral Library
*Photo courtesy www.somersethouseprints.com