Westminster Abbey has been the location for every coronation since 1066. Today the abbey is still used for worship and important national events.
The building is a Gothic mix of many architectural styles. The present building was started in1245 and has the highest nave in Britain with enormous supporting buttresses. Henry Yevele rebuilt the nave in the fourteenth century and linked it to surrounding abbey buildings.
The octagonal Chapter House boasts a thirteenth century tiled floor. The body of Edward the Confessor lies in the shrine at St. Edwards Chapel. The abbeys West Front Towers were added in 1745 and were the work of Sir Edward Hawksmoor. The Poets Corner contains memorials to many of Britain’s literary figures. The organ at Westminster Abbey is a beautifully ornate example, built in 1937 by Harrison and Harrison. The organ was restored in 1982 and is now considered to be of unparalleled clarity.
The abbey was built mainly from French limestone and sandstone from Surrey. At its highest point the abbey stands over 225 feet tall. The Abbey's formal title is The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster. The popular title "Westminster Abbey" continues to be used, even though there have been no monks there since the l6th century.
London's oldest attractions
Nearly every king and queen in English history has been crowned here since 1066; it was also where Lady Diana was buried in 1997 and where Prince William married Kate in 2011. Naturally many parts of the church have been rebuilt and added to over the years, such as Nicholas Hawksmoor's western towers in the 1700s, but it remains one of the UK's most important gothic masterpieces.