PIN Westminster Abbey

The Queen's Church

As the St. Paul’s is the people’s church so Westminster Abbey is the Queens Church. London. It is the site of coronations and other ceremonies of national significance. It stands very close to the Houses of Parliament the borough of Westminster as is a short walk across the square. Situated on the grounds of a former Benedictine monastery, it was refounded as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster by Queen Elizabeth the First I in 1560. In 1987 Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Church, and the Houses of Parliament were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Tradition suggests that Saberht, the first Christian king of the East Saxons, founded a church on a small island in the River Thames, then known as Thorney but later called the west minster (or monastery). consecrated. What is more certain is that about 785 CE there was a small community of monks on the island and that the monastery was enlarged and remodeled by St. Dunstan of Canterbury about 960. Shortly after this St. Edward the Confessor built a new church on the site, which was consecrated on December 28, 1065. In relative terms it was of considerable size and of cruciform in plan. In 1245 Henry III pulled down the whole structure, except for the nave, and replaced it with the present abbey church in the Gothic style of the period. The design and plan were strongly influenced by contemporary French cathedral architecture with plenty of flying buttresses. The rebuilding of the Norman-style nave was begun by the late 1300s and overseen by Henry Yevele and continued intermittently until Tudor times. The Early English Gothic design of Henry III’s reign is prevalent giving the church the appearance of having been built at one time.

The western towers were the last addition to the building - rumored to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren, but they were actually built by Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James and completed about 1745. The choir stalls in the body of the church date from 1847, and the high altar and reredos were remodeled by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1867. Scott and J.L. Pearson also restored the north transept facade in the 1880s. The abbey was heavily damaged by the Luftwaffe in World War II, but restored soon after the war.

TripTide Thoughts

An incredible piece of building and a great experience


  • History
  • , Westminster
  • , Historical Event
  • , Downtown Westminster
  • , churches
  • , landmark


Lucy is a TripTide stalwart and has been with the company since inception. She is a font of knowledge of all things in our metropolis but she has a special penchant for London's historical past. She says:"London is a multi-layered confection of hi...


20 Deans Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA (View on Google Maps)
The Queens Church

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