There has been a church on the site of Southwark Cathedral for more than a thousand years, although it has only been a Cathedral since 1905. In the medieval period it was the church of Southwark Priory and following the Dissolution of the Monasteries it became a parish church, dedicated to St Saviour’s.
Southwark was the theatre district of the late Tudor period and the church had connections with that theatre world. John Fletcher, the Elizabethan playwright, is buried in the Cathedral, as are Edmund Shakespeare, brother of William, and Philip Henslowe, owner of the Rose Theatre. During the Reformation, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, held a heresy court in the Cathedral, that condemned seven Protestant clergymen, including the Bishop of Gloucester, to be burned at the stake.
See also: Winchester Palace, Golden Hinde
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