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Since William The Conqueror’s coronation in 1066, this beautiful and world-famous church has been the location of every coronation in England. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned here fifty-nine years ago, on June 2nd, 1953.
The address is: 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA, UK.
Westminster Abbey is located just west of the Houses of Parliament in the Greater London borough of Westminster. Here is a map:
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.
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.
WHAT TO SEE INSIDE THE ABBEY?
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.
Thomas Parr, who lived for 152 years and 9 months over the reigns of ten monarchs, is one of the people commemorated in Westminster Abbey. By King Charles I’s decree, he was buried in the Abbey.
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.
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.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Westminster Abbey is very centrally located, just next to the Houses of Parliament and it cannot be missed.
If you are using public transport, the nearest underground stations are St. James’s Park (a five-minute walk) and Westminster (also a five-minute walk). The nearest stations are Victoria (a bit longer walk – 18-minute) and Waterloo (a 16-minute walk away). Routes 11, 24, 88, 148, and 211 all pass the Westminster Abbey entrance.
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Tours and trips including Westminster Abbey
Interesting facts about Westminster Abbey
Here are some interesting facts about this amazing historical landmark:
- Westminster Abbey is officially known as the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster. The abbey, on the other hand, does not operate as a traditional church, reporting to the hierarchy of the Church of England. Around 1560, the abbey was given a special “Royal Peculiar” — a church that is directly responsible to the Sovereign.
- Since 1066, Westminster Abbey has served as the coronation church for the British monarch. In reality, Westminster Abbey has hosted 39 coronations, the most recent being on June 2, 1953. Our present and soon-to-be longest-serving queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is the eldest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and is the eldest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
- At Westminster Abbey, almost 3,300 people have been buried or memorialized. There are seventeen British kings included in this list, including King Henry V and all Tudors except Henry VIII. Isaac Newton, Edward the Confessor, and Charles Dickens are among the famous people buried at Westminster Abbey.