The “city” of Westminster is less a city and more a representative of London as a whole. Though it only spans just over 8 square miles, the core centre of London is home to some of the city’s most prominent attractions. From Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament, it’s not only the working headquarters of London but that of the county as well. The borough was one of the first parts of London to be developed, almost 2000 years ago and so it’s unsurprising that a tourist spotlight shines onto the area, most prominently on Westminster Abbey, which will be visited ever more frequently by tourists as city-wide, and Montcalm precautionary measures are reinstated to make tourism even safer during the COVID era.
Guests at the Montcalm Marble Arch London will be well equipped in the new year to enjoy some riveting attractions in Westminster Cathedral. As the heart of London and its historic power base, it has become the focal point of festivals, entertainment and historic trails. This blog will outline some of the best landmarks and things to do in and around Westminster Abbey, and why it has become such an important part of the city’s culture and tourism.
A Brief History Of Westminster Abbey
Originally built in the 9th century as St Peter’s Abbey after a fisherman claimed to see a vision of St Peter on the banks of the Thames nearby, Westminster Abbey was originally developed as a royal burial church in the 10th century but became a coronation site in 1066 when William The Conqueror took the throne of England. Built adjacent to Westminster Palace, now the Houses Of Parliament, the abbey became an important funeral and coronation site throughout the centuries. Though it was briefly a cathedral under Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and changed form as a protestant then catholic cathedral, it was eventually granted the role of “Royal Peculiar” and used for funerals and coronations for many kings and queens.
Originally built in the Gothic style, the 18th century saw the abbey’s western towers constructed which became a leading example of the Gothic Revival movement in architecture. To this day, there are over 3000 people buried in Westminster Abbey, many of whom are important figures in both medieval and contemporary history.
Beginning with Geoffrey Chaucer in the year 1400, Westminster Abbey has become the final resting place for many writers through the centuries. Poet’s Corner in the south transept is dedicated to these people, not only writers but actors and musicians too, who have so captured the imagination of the country and includes the likes of Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and more recently, Laurence Olivier.
Home to the oldest door in the UK and beautiful remains of medieval tiled flooring, guests of London city breaks in the UK will find a sense of peace in the Chapter House. Originally used by Benedictine Monks as a bible reading room, this area of the Abbey was also used for debate on political issues during the 14th century.
Another must-visit of Westminster Abbey during your 2 night London hotel deal is the Royal Tombs. Located behind the stunning High Altar, the Royal Tombs include the likes of Edward I, Richard II, Queen Elizabeth and many others. Due to a lack of space, monuments couldn’t be erected for a range of monarchs such as Charles II and Mary Queen of Scots, who are still buried in crypts within this space.