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London Imagery: Paternoster Square

The other day, I went for a business meeting that took me to Paternoster Square behind the St Paul’s Cathedral. Somehow I’ve never managed to set foot in that particular square before. With my pocketcam now being my inseparable companion, I took a few quick snapshots, half a dozen of which came out reasonably well for a little photo-excursion.

(Click any picture to enlarge.)

First, the Paternoster Square Column, as seen both from the square and from the office windows. As far as I know, it does not signify anything beyond celebrating the redevelopment of the square that finished only half a decade ago.

One other monument on the square is this Shepherd and Sheep sculpture. The square in its past was the location for the livestock market. Yet, the plaque on the monument says “Paternoster”, so I wonder if it is not supposed to be some mythical character that gave the square its name.

Cathedral prominently features to the south of the square, reachable by a covered passage. I took pictures both while it was still daylight and after dark.

Finally, another late night shot, with the column and the Cathedral’s dome and tower ensemble. I have a weakness for structures that point to the skies.


  1. Autolycus

    Paternoster = “Our Father” in Latin = the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer. The sculpture is a reference to the idea of the Good Shepherd. Many of the streets around the Cathedral have similar biblical or liturgical references.

    This was also once the centre of the publishing trade, right back to the early days of printing, until the bombing in World War 2 destroyed the area.

  2. Ilya

    Thank you for that, Autolycus. I did not make the connection with the significance of a shepherd’s image in Christanity.

  3. Anne S

    Also, the square took its name from the nearby Paternoster Row, a street in which monks in medieval times were said to process while chanting the Lord’s Prayer (the Pater Noster.) Nearby was another street named Ave Maria; I wonder if it had a similar history?

    Sorry for the lateness of this comment, but I’ve just spent a ridiculous amount of time looking into the history of Paternoster Square, and I felt this was worth chipping in.

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