Old St. Paul's is a name used to refer to the Gothic cathedral in the City of London built between 1087 and 1314. At its greatest, the cathedral was the third longest church in Europe and had one of the tallest spires. The cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666, and the current domed St. Paul's Cathedral was subsequently erected on the site in an English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren.
The finished cathedral of the Middle Ages was renowned for its interior beauty. William Benham wrote in 1902: "It had not a rival in England, perhaps one might say in Europe." The nave's immense length was particularly notable, with a Norman triforium and vaulted ceiling. The length earned it the nickname "Paul's walk". The stained glass was reputed to be the best in the country, and the east-end Rose window was particularly exquisite.
The walls were lined with the tombs of mediæval bishops and nobility. Two Anglo-Saxon kings were buried inside, Sebbi, King of the East Saxons, and Ethelred the Unready. A number of historic figures such as John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and John Beauchamp, 3rd Baron Beauchamp de Somerset had particularly large monuments constructed. The cathedral was also to later contain the tombs of the poet and clergyman John Donne and the Crown minister Nicholas Bacon.