"Explore inside Westminster Abbey" Westminster Abbey Tip by no1birdlady

Westminster Abbey, London: 268 reviews and 472 photos

  One of the Great Doors
by no1birdlady

I had seen the outside of Westminster Abbey every time I was in London but something always happened that we didn't have time to explore the inside of it. In 2001 it was after 4:00 when we got there. It takes quite a while to see all of it so allow several hours. Finally in 2003 we had an entire morning to spend here. It is a fascinating place. The only trace of the Norman monastery are the round arches and columns of the Undercroft in the Cloisters. This has the exhibition of the treasures so be sure to see it. The Norman cathedral was destroyed and in 1245 Henry II began rebuilding the church in Gothic Style. This is the cathedral we see today. Many kings are buried here and you can see their tombs. The Coronation Chair is fascinating. Made for Edward I in 1300, it was made to hold the Stone of Scone that was captured from the Scots in 1296. Up until then, the Scottish kings sat on that stone for their coronations. Supposedly "false" kings seated on the stone would be revealed. The English kept the stone which fit in the Coronation Chair until Scottish nationalists stole it back in 1950 then England got it back in 1951. In 1996 Prime Minister John Major announced it would be returned to Scotland, returning to Westminster Abbey for use in coronations. You can see the place under the chair where the stone is placed. The Stone of Scone is in Edinburgh Castle now. We visited Poet's Corner where many famous poets are buried or honored. It is a beautiful cathedral. The ornate painting at the high altar is a wonderful depiction of The Lord's Supper. Also be sure to see the Rose Window. There are guided tours here to help you see and appreciate all of it. When you leave, be sure to look up at the niches and statues over the door. In 1998 the niches were filled with Christian witnesses who dies for their faith to show that martyrs are still dying. They are from every continent and include Martin Luther King from Atlanta, Ga. near my home. King is the 5th from the left.
Westminster Abbey is a "Must See" in London.

Address: Deans Yard, SW1
Directions: St James's Park tube
Phone: 0 20 7654 4900
Website: http://www.westminster-abbey.org

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 27, 2005
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