Sun on Saturday: Paternoster Square

I was in town on a sunny May day and with glorious weather and enough time to walk between appointments I found myself looking up at St Paul's Cathedral on the way towards Paternoster Square.

 ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL

ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL

Paternoster square is according to wikipedia "an urban development" and one owned by the Mitsubishi Estate, and not as I'd assumed by the Corporation of London. In recent years it's seen a total redevelopment from the Paternoster Square I remembered. That older version was of 1960s descent and well, it was pretty grim and it seemed not liked very much.

I remember it more for the lunchtime netball games we played there for many years, which were always followed by a dash back down Cheapside in our netball kit to get back to our desks on time. And our bright yellow bottom-skimming netball skirts caused quite a stir back in the City back then. 

So it was nice to have time to explore and experience the 2003 version with its central piazza, shops, offices and walkways which do suit the area so close to St Paul's so much more than before.

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 PATERNOSTER SQUARE COLUMN

PATERNOSTER SQUARE COLUMN

The Paternoster Square column is 75 ft tall is a corinthian stone column topped by a gold leaf covered flaming urn and sometimes called the 'pineapple'  

At the other end of the square is the bronze Shepherd and Sheep which was commissioned for the previous Paternoster Square complex in 1975; for this latest redevelopment it was placed on a new plinth. Which explains why there was something familiar about it, not that I'm sure I had time to stop and admire it during those netball matches!

 SHEPHERD AND SHEEP

SHEPHERD AND SHEEP

And you might already know but Pater Noster is Latin for "Our Father" and being in the shadow of St Paul's it's aptly named. But did you know that the area takes its name from Paternoster Row which was the centre of the publishing trade and was devastated by bombing during the Blitz. No me neither. Today it's the new location for the London Stock Exchange which moved from Threadneedle Street in 2004 - that I did know!

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Just a few streets away is the building of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers - one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London and represents the knife, sword and utensil makers. Like many of the City Liveries it no longer has a close association with its trade, which mostly relocated to Sheffield but remains a charitable institution administering educational initiatives such as scholarships and awards.

 WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF CUTLERS

WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF CUTLERS

The building though is pretty and ornate. It's facade is decorated with a terracotta frieze which shows the process of knife-making as you'd expect. And while the frieze was special, for me it was the ironwork that caught my eye.

Worshipful Company of Cutlers.jpg
Worshipful Company of Cutlers.jpg
Worshipful Company of Cutlers.jpg
Worshipful Company of Cutlers.jpg

Walking further down the street I spotted some wisteria in full bloom. I'd not expected to see it here in the City of London just a stone's throw from the Cathedral.

 AH... WISTERIA

AH... WISTERIA

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And with a whiff of wisteria I was back in the slickness and often greyness of the City - and this rather smart car and sculpture caught my eye and I felt needed to be snapped.

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Then I noticed the street name - Ave Maria Lane - and I'd just walked past Amen Corner too - and with that I was back within sight of  Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. I've walked this way often but not until now had I spotted those street names - another reminder that we should all look up more often!

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