Westminster Abbey is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Benedictine monks first came to this site in the middle of the tenth century, establishing a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day.
The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint still at its heart.
A treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artefacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation's history are buried or commemorated. Taken as a whole the tombs and memorials comprise the most significant single collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Famous People & the Abbey
Find out about the 3,300 people buried or commemorated at Westminster Abbey, many of them among the most significant in the nation's history.
Royals & the Abbey
Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions, including sixteen royal weddings. Find about more about the Abbey's royal connections.
An architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history.
The present building dates mainly from the reign of King Henry III. In 1245 he pulled down the eastern part of the 11th century Abbey, which had been founded by King Edward the Confessor and dedicated in 1065.
Over 100 poets and writers are buried or commemorated in Poets' Corner. It all began in 1400 when Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of 'The Canterbury Tales' was buried there. Find out more in our video.