A short biography of Sir Christopher Wren, including the building of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Sir Christopher Wren
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
The greatest British architect of all time was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, in 1632, the son of the rector of Knoyle. Christopher Wren attended Westminster School and Wadham College, Oxford, where he graduated with a masters degree in 1651. At this stage Wren was a pure scientist (by the standards of the time) focusing on astronomy, physics, and anatomy. He experimented with submarine design, road paving, and design of telescopes. At the tender age of 25 he was offered the Chair of Astronomy at Gresham College, London.
In 1660 Wren was one of the founding members of the Society of Experimental Philosophy. In 1662, under the patronage of Charles II, this body became known as the Royal Society.
A first stab at architecture
It was not until 1663 that Wren tried his hand at architecture, and his first commission was literally the result of nepotism. His uncle, then Bishop of Ely, got him the job of designing Pembroke College Chapel at Cambridge University. Next was the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, based on the classical design of the Roman Theatre of Marcellus. This was the work that made Wren's reputation as an architect.
Wren's plan for London
And more than churches...
Name the Historic attraction
British Heritage Awards
Celebrate the best of British Heritage in our annual
British History Quiz
This king of Wessex followed his father, Alfred the Great, to the throne
He subdued all the Danish lands south of the River Humber
He ruled much of Wales
This Day in British History
30 July, 1818
Birth of novelist Emily Bronte
Bronte is best known for the novel Wuthering Heights