Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey

 Tonight I am posting information on Westminster Abbey in London, England.

The Abbey is formally known as the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster.

This is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament).  The Abbey is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and a burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066 all coronations of English and British monarchs have occurred in Westminster Abbey.Sixteen royal weddings have occurred at the abbey since 1100.

According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorney Island) in the 7th century at the time of Mellitus, Bishop of London.Construction of the present church began in 1245 on the orders of Henry III.

The church was originally part of a Catholic Benedictine abbey which was dissolved in 1539. It then served as the cathedral of the Diocese of Westminster until 1550, then as a second cathedral of the Diocese of London until 1556. The abbey was restored to the Benedictines by Mary I in 1556, then in 1559 made a royal peculiar—a church responsible directly to the sovereign-by Elizabeth I.

The Abbey is the burial site of more than 3,300 people, usually of prominence in British history: at least 16 monarchs, eight prime ministers, poets laureate, actors, scientists, military leaders, and the Unknown Warrior. 

The Abbey is open to the public most days but visitors should check website for details. One option is for a 90 minute verger guided tour which includes the shrine of Edward the Confessor, royal tombs, Poet's Corner, the Lady Chapel and Nave.

Westminster Abbey


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