Westminster Abbey

13th Century

1268
Pavement laid down The inscription records that the world will last 19,683 years.
1269
The first wedding to take place on the pavement was that of Prince Edmund, Earl of Lancaster (son of Henry III) to Aveline de Forz.
1274
Edward I was the first king to be crowned on the pavement.
1283
Abbot Richard de Ware buried under the northern part of the pavement.
1296-1301
Tomb of Edmund, Earl of Lancaster erected to the north. A tomb to Aveline was also erected to the north in the 1290s although she died in 1274.

14th Century

1307
Abbot Walter de Wenlok buried under the southern part of the pavement. He had erected the Sedilia, or seats for priests, to the south of the pavement.
1324
Tomb of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke erected to the north of the pavement.

15th Century

1441
Stone screen constructed to the east, separating the pavement from St Edward’s chapel and his Shrine.

16th Century

1532
Abbot John Islip’s funeral hearse erected on the pavement. His mortuary roll includes an illustration, the earliest showing the Abbey interior.
1557-1606
Tomb of Queen Anne of Cleves erected to the south of the pavement.

17th Century

1660-62
Repair to parts of the pavement following damage during the Cromwellian period.

18th Century

1706
Damage to eastern part of the pavement when a large altarpiece from Whitehall Palace, presented by Queen Anne, was erected.

19th Century

1820
Queen Anne altarpiece removed.
1867-73
The present altar screen, by Sir Gilbert Scott, erected. He repaired damage to the eastern border of the pavement, also adding Purbeck marble paving to north and south. The 7th Earl of Elgin presented new porphyries for the damaged area.

20th Century

1939-45
Pavement boarded over so was undamaged when the Abbey was hit in an air raid in 1941.
1953
Coronation of Elizabeth II. The pavement is always covered by a carpet at coronations.
1991
‘Patterns of Thought – The Hidden Meaning of the Great Pavement of Westminster Abbey’ by Richard Foster, published.
1993-94
Trials and repair work undertaken by Taylor Pearce Restoration Services Ltd and John Larson.
1997
The Downland Partnership produce the first detailed plan of the pavement.
Report on the condition of the pavement by Nicholas Durnan, commissioned by the Dean and Chapter.
1997-98
Trial and repair worked undertaken by Nicholas Durnan and Torquil McNeilage.
1998
The first Cosmati pavement Symposium held at Westminster Abbey to discuss how to preserve the pavement.

21st Century

2000
Specially convened sub group of Westminster Abbey Fabric Commission (WAFC) known as the Cosmati Pavement Steering Group set up to monitor conservation work on the pavement.
2006-07
After several years of study and trials a report is produced (in-house collaboration between conservators, archaeologist, geologist and surveyor), followed by a specification for the full conservation of the pavement.
2008
Small conservation team assembled and work begins on the pavement.
2010
Detailed photographic record of the pavement and a complete photomosaic produced by The Downland Partnership.
2010
Completion of the conservation of the Cosmati pavement.
2010
The newly conserved pavement was viewed for the first time by The Queen at a service to mark the 450th anniversary of Elizabeth I’s charter to the Abbey and re-dedicated by the Dean.
2011
Royal Wedding 29th April 2011. This was the first major royal event to take place on the pavement since the completion of conservation.

Timeline