The choir was originally the part of the Abbey in which the monks worshipped, but there is now no trace of pre-Reformation fittings, for in the late eighteenth century Henry Keene, the then Surveyor, removed the thirteenth-century stalls and designed a smaller Choir. This was in turn destroyed in the mid-nineteenth century by Edward Blore, who created the present Choir in Victorian Gothic style and removed the partitions which until then had blocked off the transepts.
It is here that the choir, of twenty-two boys and twelve Lay Vicars (the name given to the men of the choir), sings the daily Services.
The Organ with cases designed by J.L.Pearson and placed above the Choir screen, was originally built by Christopher Shrider in 1727. Successive rebuildings in the nineteenth century and in 1909 and 1937 and extensive work in 1983 and 1987 have resulted in the present instrument. Orlando Gibbons and Henry Purcell are two of the great musicians who have been Organists at Westminster Abbey.
The north choir aisle is known as Musicians’ Aisle where Purcell, John Blow, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells and others lie buried. Sir Edward Elgar and Benjamin Britten have memorial stones.
The black and white marble floor in the Quire was the gift of Dr Richard Busby in 1677.
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