Since William The Conqueror’s coronation in 1066, Westminster Abbey, a beautiful and world-famous structure has been the location of every coronation in England. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned here fifty years ago, on June 2nd, 1953.
The Church, which was founded as a Benedictine monastery over a thousand years ago and was restored by Edward the Confessor in 1065 and Henry III between 1220 and 1272, is regarded as an architectural Gothic masterpiece around the world.
It was re-founded as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560, on the grounds of a former Benedictine monastery.
The Abbey was known as the “House of Kings” because it was the final resting place of 17 kings, including Elizabeth I and Mary I, until 1760.
Many monarchs preferred to be buried near the shrine of Edward the Confessor, whose death in 1065 triggered William the Conqueror’s invasion and conquest of England. The bones of Edward the Confessor can still be found behind the High Altar in his Shrine.
The Abbey is brimming with tablets, statues, and inscriptions honoring kings, queens, knights, writers, actors, composers, scientists, and statesmen, albeit not all are buried there. The poets Chaucer, Tennyson, and Browning, as well as the novelists Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling, are all buried here. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier is also housed at the Abbey. Around 3,300 persons are thought to be buried in the Church and Cloisters.
Francis Ligonier, who rose from his sickbed to meet the enemy at the Battle of Falkirk in 1785, is commemorated by a plaque. He made it through the battle only to succumb to the sickness soon after.
The Abbey has hosted a variety of royal events, including state weddings and burials, including the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
Westminster Abbey has hosted worship services for almost a thousand years and continues to do so every day of the year.
It is located in the Greater London borough of Westminster, immediately west of the Houses of Parliament.
Stroll through Liddell’s Arch into Little Deans Yard (the square behind the Abbey near Westminster School) or pause for thought in the cloisters for a calm respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the Capital.