In 1621 the poet John Donne was named dean of Old St. Paul's Cathedral.
According to the Rev. WJ Sparrow Simpson, writing in 1851, the tower was 285ft tall with a 208ft spire on top of this. Sir Christopher Wren quoted a height of 460ft and a later guide book gave a height of 489ft, so there remains some confusion over the true height of the Cathedral.
By the end of the 16th century Old St. Paul's had become an unofficial fruit and meat market and hang-out for prostitutes.
The first church to be built on this site was completed in 604AD. After fire destroyed this church, a second was built and also destroyed by fire in 1087. Then began construction of St. Paul's Cathedral - a massive building which took over 150 years to complete.
Old St. Paul's Cathedral became the world's tallest building in 1549, when the 160m (525ft) wooden central spire of Lincoln Cathedral fell down. This lasted until the 4th June 1561, when St. Paul's spire was itself felled by lightning and the title passed to Notre-Dame de Strasbourg in Strasbourg.
Destruction of the rest of the Cathedral came in 1666, when the Great Fire of London swept across the City, reducing the Cathedral and 86 other churches to ruins.
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