That said, it does look much better when viewed from above. My main picture attached is taken from the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. The Square itself does also allow for some interesting shots of St Paul’s.The square takes its name from the medieval Paternoster Row where clergy from St Paul’s Cathedral would ambulate, rosaries in hand, reciting the Pater Noster or Lord’s Prayer.
Paternoster Row, centre of the London publishing trade. was pretty much wiped by the 1666 fire of London and then again by aerial bombardment during World War II. Post World War II it lay undeveloped until 1967 but that development proved rather unpopular. Lord Mayor, Robert Finch described it thus in 2004 – “The old Paternoster Square was typical: ghastly, monolithic constructions without definition or character’.
I rather think the Mayor’s description is equally apt for the new Square.
For me the most interesting aspect of the square (though arguably not part of it at all) is the Temple Bar – see my separate review – the St Paul’s side, entrance to/ exit from the square.
The Square has but a single sculpture entitled Shepherd and Sheep – by Dame Elizabeth Frink (originally unveiled by Yehudi Menhuin in 1975 and retained from the previous Square development).
This sculpture reminds one of the days when this square was the site of Newgate Meat Market until the Central Meat Market at Smithfield opened in 1868.
I am unsure as to why the shepherd is naked and un-endowed (in contrast to the front sheep (ram)!). As Frink was much better known for her well-endowed subjects perhaps she was somewhat influenced by the clergy of neighbouring St Paul’s in this instance.
Certainly have a wander through the square while you are in the area but nothing there to hold you too long.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on many trips to London. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Temple Bar Gate – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – London…as much of life as the world can show.