London’s Architectural Masterpiece: Westminster Abbey
The original name was The Collegiate Church of St. Peter and then later known as Westminster Abbey. It was originally designed to be a church, cemetery with countless memorials. It is a study in history, and is known as an architectural masterpiece that was built in the 15th century. It has been used for great events such as coronations and other royal parties and events. The church is under the supervision of the crown and not the diocese which is highly unusual for a church.
You may want to visit to see the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, other Royal Tombs, Shrines, Winston Churchill, Lady Chapel and Poets Corner. Some very famous poets are buried here such as Geoffrey Chaucer. It was an honor to be buried here. Only aristocrats, generals, royalty, scientists and other dignitaries were buried here. Over 3,000 people have been buried or memorialized here.
Just inside the main door is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, from World War I. It is the only gravestone there that cannot be stepped on.
The design of the church is Gothic in nature, similar to the design of a cathedral. Most Kings and Queens of England are buried here.
There is a great deal of history and mystery behind these walls. In 2005, the vault of Edward the Confessor was discovered. There were also other vaults discovered later which date back to the 13th century.
There are enormous vaulted ceilings, and beautiful artistic grandeur throughout. The support arched are not visible and are there but enclosed within the roof.
There are beautiful works of art housed here such as a portrait of Richard the II which was painted in the 1300’s. From the south view of the Abbey, you can see the rose window with a rare medieval sculpture. During this period of time, three dimensional art was considered a sin.
Father Massey is a resident artist there. He has painted numerous paintings throughout the Abbey and other works on pillars inside the church.
Other dignitaries buried here include, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, Laurence Oliver, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Robert Browning, Thomas Parr, John Gay, John Dryden, Robert Adam, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Thomas Hardy.
In the 12th century, the Abbey was doing very well and housed over 60 monks and 200 others assisted in running the Benedictine Monastery. It was far one of the wealthiest churches in England.
The cloister area was built in the 14th century. This area was used by monks for prayer, meditation and exercise.
The Henry VII chapel was built in the 1500’s and is a very memorable chapel which has a magnificent vault. The chapel features an extraordinary huge stained glass window.
The interior and exterior sights of this beautiful legacy are visible in numerous works of arts and pictures. It is easily recognizable and offers a thousand years of history in one glance.