Westminster Abbey London, England

This former abbey church is the national church of Britain, used for coronations and filled with important tombs and monuments.

West Facade Detail
Holly Hayes

Facts & Stats

Best Known As
Westminster Abbey
Full Name
Westminster Abbey
Also Known As
Westminster Abbey (The Collegiate Church of St Peter)
51.499306° N, 0.127480° W  (map)
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Contact Info

Broad Sanctuary
+44(0)20 7222 5152


December 28, 1065
Consecration of Westminster Abbey church Westminster Abbey
April 26, 1882
Burial of Charles Darwin in Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey
November 20, 1947
Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Westminster Abbey
June 2, 1953
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II Westminster Abbey
September 7, 1997
Funeral procession of Princess Diana Westminster Abbey; Kensington Palace
April 29, 2011
Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton Westminster Abbey

Listed Building Description

TQ 3079 NW and SW CITY OF WESTMINSTER BROAD SANCTUARY SW1 92/57 ;101/1 Westminster Abbey (The 24.2.58 Collegiate Church of St Peter) (Formerly listed under General)


Abbey church. Edward the Confessor's church of c.1050-65, rebuilding begun by Henry III, 1245; the chancel, transepts and 5 bays of nave completed by 1269; new nave and west front 1375-1400 by Henry Yevele master mason, completed 1506, excluding the upper part of the west towers; Henry VII Chapel begun as new Lady Chapel 1503, completed as Chantry chapel c.1512, probably by Robert and William Virtue; the west towers 1735-40 by Hawksmoor; major C18 and C19 restorations by Wren, Henry Keene, James Wyatt, Benjamin Wyatt, Blore, Sir George Gilbert Scott and J. C. Pearson, as Surveyors to the Fabric; "anti- scrape" preservation introduced by Micklethwaite and Lethaby. Reigate stone with Huddlestone stone for Henry VII's Chapel. Geometrical gothic, exceptionally French in plan with aisled, 11-bay nave, transepts and chancel with ambulatory and radiating chapels, and French in the height of the vault with its 2 tiers of flying buttresses. Specifically English in the distinguishing feature of a full gallery instead of a triforium and in the way in which Yevele's nave respectfully continues the style of the Henry III work. Yevele's Perpendicular appears on the west front and porch, very similar to his Westminster Hall design. Henry VII's Chapel has boldly modelled Late Perpendicular detailing. The west towers have Hawksmoor's individual blending of Gothic verticality with Baroque details. Interior has Purbeck marble piers and shafting; quadripartite vaulting with ridge rib and bosses; transverse and tierceron ribs introduced in nave, with Perpendicular details to the bosses in Yevele's work. Stained glass: a few reset C13 fragments, otherwise C15/C16; C18, C19 and C20; cosmati pavements in feretory and Presbytery, etc. Exceptional furnishing and unique collection of monuments and sculpture, etc. The Abbey is the English St Denis and Reims in one, a unique embodiment of church, state and crown, and national mausoleum.

R. C. H. M. W. R. Lethaby 1906 and 1923 London, Vol I; N Pevsner

Listing NGR: TQ3008379495

Further Resources

  1. London: Buildings and Gardens: Westminster Abbey. Grove Art Online.
  2. Westminster Abbey. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
  3. The National Heritage List for England: 1291494, /resultsingle.aspx?uid=1291494. Historic England.
  4. Official Website of Westminster Abbey. Official source.