Westminster Abbey is far more than just an Abbey - it is one of the most important buildings in the whole of the British Isles.
The Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor around 1050, but most of the building work today dates from the 13th century. The nave was rebuilt between 1375 and 1400, Henry VII added a chapel and the two great west towers were added in the 18th century.
More important than the building itself - although that is wonderful - is the role the Abbey has played in British History. Almost every British monarch since Edward the Confessor was crowned in the Abbey and amongst those buried there are Edward the Confessor, Henry III, Edward I, Edward III, Richard II (second time around), Henry V, Henry VI (incredibly the third time around!), Henry VII, Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I, James I, Charles II, William III and Mary II, Anne and George II. Non-Royals interred here include Oliver Cromwell - who was subsequently removed posthumously hung at Tyburn and re-buried there, Dickens, Keats, and a great many others.
Entrance is free, except to the Pyx Chamber for which there is a charge. One rule of thumb - get there early, it soon fills up with tourists especially in the summer.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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