Triforum Level - The Great Model
Explore St Paul's Cathedral - Virtual Tour
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The Great Model was constructed, beginning in 1673, by two London joiners named William and Richard Cleere, at a cost of £500. It does not represent Wren's first thoughts, nor does it reflect the Cathedral as built; but it does appear to show what Wren would have liked to build, if he had not been subject to the opinions and wishes of the Dean and Chapter.
The quality of the joinery is superb, and it is adorned with exquisitely-worked cherubs' heads, flowers and festoons. As originally completed, some of the detail was sumptuously gilded, and there were tiny statues on the parapets, which are thought to have been Wren's first commissions to Grinling Gibbons.
The model was restored and re-installed in the Trophy Room in 1998.