Westminster Abbey is renowned as the largest and notable Gothic church in London. Located near the Westminster Palace, the church has become one of the most important places in London for hosting events of the royal family such as coronations, weddings, and funerals. Besides that, Westminster Abbey is one of the iconic landmarks of London and is specifically featured in many London old city tour programs.
The Gothic church is one of the oldest monuments in London and has a rich history that spans to over thousands of years. Below are some fascinating facts about Westminster Abbey.
It is said that the Westminster Abbey was established initially by Benedictine monks in the 7th century. They established a tradition of daily worship that continues today with the first one formed in 960. However, Henry III is credited with the establishment of the current Westminster Abbey between 1245 and 1272. A few of the parts of the earlier building that was built in 1050 still survive to this date.
Edward the Confessor built a royal burial site that was completed in 1090. Westminster Abbey has been the main coronation church for many British monarchs since the year 1066. Moreover, about 3,300 people have been buried here with notable ones including Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton, King Henry IV, Charles Darwin, etc.
Westminster Abbey has witnessed the marriage of numerous British monarchs. King Henry I’s marriage with Matilda of Scotland in 1100 was the first royal wedding that took place in the Abbey. In 1382, it hosted Richard II’s wedding with Anne of Bohemia, which was the last one for about 500 years. However, in 1919, Princess Patricia of Connaught was married to Alexander Ramsay here, which restarted the tradition of Royal tradition at Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey contains a museum that houses some of the wax statues of the previous monarchs that served the country. These wax statues were mainly used in funerals by displaying atop royal tombs or on the casket. Most of these statues were created from death masks of the deceased face.
The Poet’s Corner is one of the most famous areas of the Westminster church. It is the place of burial of Britain’s famous writers and consists of numerous memorial plaques. The 16th century burial of Edward Spencer started the tradition of burying the nation’s eminent writers, poets, and playwrights here.
Oldest Oak Door
The oak door in Chapel House that links to the Cannons of Westminster is found to be originated from the year 1040 through carbon dating. This makes it one of the oldest oak wood doors ever located in a monument in the whole of London.