Westminster Abbey Architecture In History

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Westminster Abbey has played many roles throughout history. Most importantly, it has been used as the coronation church since 1066 (westminsterabbey.org). Every King and Queen of England from that point on was crowned at Westminster Abbey, except the two Kings who were never crowned, Edward V and Edward VIII (Hutchinson). The abbey had numerous uses throughout its history. Not only does Westminster Abbey play an important role in British history, but it is also truly a masterpiece. There is no exact date for the founding of this outstanding piece of architecture as its construction was a long process over many centuries. It is said that the location of the abbey held a shrine dedicated to St. Peter in the seventh century (Hutchinson). Then,…show more content…
These are just a few of the numerous purposes the abbey has served. In western civilization, the idea of having one piece of architecture serve so many uses was a new idea, “In France, by contrast, these functions are divided among five separate monuments” (Richard Jenkyns). Most importantly, the abbey has been the site of coronation since 1066, (westminsterabbey.org). On a daily scale, the abbey has acted as the catholic church, monastery, and a pilgrimage destination (Hutchinson). Lastly, the abbey acts as a big burial place; the abbey contains nearly 3,000 bodies, including many famous people, such as Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Elizabeth I, Ernest Rutherford, Henry III, Edward the Confessor, and Henry V (westminsterabbey.org). The importance of Westminster Abbey is shown by a royal document from King Stephen. “Writ of King Stephen, informing the justice, sheriff, barons, and officers of Essex that he quitclaims to the church of St Peter of Westminster and the monks the sheriff's aid called justice-aid, at the rate of 1s. annually on each hide in Essex” (Stephen 113). This demonstrates how valuable Westminster Abbey is to the king from him stating the…show more content…
Today, the Abbey continues to act as the site of coronation (Hutchinson). It also holds many weddings and continues to be the burial place of many important individuals. Westminster Abbey is still a church today and holds 5 services every day (westminsterabbey.org). Additionally, the abbey acts as a pilgrimage destination for many people (westminsterabbey.org). The abbey is a famous tourist attraction, people come from all around the world to see Westminster Abbey. It is an amazing piece of architecture that played a major role in the development of western civilization. Westminster Abbey was significant to western civilization for many reasons. When Edward the Confessor built the abbey, the abbey became the center of royal power like none before (Dr. Jesse Harasta). It held numerous valuable responsibilities in the society. He also built it as the royal church of England, one that is above others like Canterbury and York (Dr. Jesse Harasta). When King Henry III rebuilt the abbey, he created a spectacular piece of architecture that still causes awe in our minds. After his reconstruction, the abbey continued to be significant to society in many ways. The abbey acted as the site of coronation, marriage, burial, royal treasury, parliament, tourism, and pilgramigism (Hutchinson). Throughout western civilization, Westminster Abbey played a significant role in society like no outstanding

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