The Museum is housed in the magnificent vaulted undercroft beneath the former monks' dormitory. This is one of the oldest areas of the Abbey, dating back almost to the foundation of the Norman church by King Edward the Confessor in 1065.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is the Abbey's collection of royal and other funeral effigies. This collection includes the effigies of Edward III, Henry VII and his queen, Elizabeth I, Charles II, William III, Mary II and Queen Anne. Later wax effigies include a striking likeness of Horatio, Viscount Nelson (pictured here) wearing some of his own clothes and another of the famous Prime Minister William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, modelled by an American lady called Patience Wright. During recent conservation of Elizabeth I's effigy a unique corset dating from 1603 was found on the figure and is now displayed separately.
Other items on display include the funeral saddle, helm and shield of Henry V, some panels of medieval glass, 12th century sculpture fragments, Mary II's coronation chair and replicas of the Coronation regalia.
A recent addition to the display is the late 13th century Westminster Retable, England's oldest altarpiece. It was most probably designed for the High Altar of the Abbey, although it has been damaged in past centuries. The panel has been expertly cleaned and conserved. One section shows the figure of St Peter, the patron saint of the Abbey (pictured).
The Museum is open daily from 10.30 to 16.00 but may be closed for State and other special events. Some postcards and books are available at the Museum.