THE THAMES AND ST. PAUL'S, FROM BANKSIDE.
Seen from across the river, the dome and western towers of St. Paul's Cathedral loom larger than ever, and beside the magnificent proportions of Wren's masterpiece, the spires of neighbouring City churches fade into insignificance. Bankside, from which our view is taken, is, though much altered, a very old part of London, on the Surrey side, between Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges Across the heavily-laden barges, which are always plentiful at this part of the Thames, St. Paul's steamboat pier may be distinguished from the closely huddled wharves that hide the body of the Cathedral. These wharves are not without an element of the picturesque in their irregularity and confusion of outline, and they afford striking evidence, of course, of the busy trade carried on hereabouts.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896