Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey

Officially known as: The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster

Article Title
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
Artist Attributed to Andrew Kacherski
Location Westminster Abbey, London


The following page contains information of several aspects of Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is the site of many graves of famous king, queens, politicians, and other public figures. Some important and interesting aspects of the church are the grave of the unknown soldier, the memorial to Winston Churchill, and the coronation chair.


The Westminster Abbey opened in 1090 and still remains an active church today. It is always under improvements including an elevator being installed for the opening of 2018 to allow visitors to go and view above. There are many memorials and graves of those with high status over the years including poets, scientists, musicians, kings and queens, prime ministers, and politicians. It is also home to almost every royal wedding.


Many famous kings, queens, politicians, writers, scientists and other public figures have been buried or were given memorials in Westminster Abbey. From the middle ages to the present, aristocrats have been buried inside chapels, and monks were buried inside the cloisters. It is considered to be an honor to be buried or given a memorial in Westminster Abbey. The following list is a few of the most famous people who are buried in Westminster Abbey:

The tomb of the Unknown Warrior- The tomb of the unknown warrior is located just inside the door and is the only tomb that is forbidden to walk on. The unknown soldier fought in World War I and unfortunately died while in battle. He was buried in 1920 and his tomb represents all soldiers who were unable to be identified that fought in World War I as well.

Saint Edward- The church was rebuilt by Henry III in honor of the Royal Saint Edward the Confessor. His shrine is located near the high alter.

Charles Darwin- Although Charles Darwin did not know if he believed in God, he was still buried in the church because of his outstanding scientific accomplishments.

Isaac Newton- Isaac Newton was buried in Westminster Abbey also for his scientific accomplishments.

Geoffrey Chaucer- Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey because he was employed as master of the King's works and lived in the Abbey. He was the first to be buried in the "Poet's Corner".

Political Features

Westminster Abbey is home to memorials for many political figures, as well as examples of political relationships between the United States and England. One prominent relationship is between Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of The United States, and Sir Winston Churchill, the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955. Neither Roosevelt nor Churchill are buried in the Abbey, but both have commemorative memorials. Winston Churchill has a stone near the west entrance that reads: "REMEMBER
15 SEPTEMBER 1965."
Franklin Roosevelt has a tablet on the west wall that reads:
"To the honoured memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1882 1945 a faithful friend of freedom and of Britain. Four times President of the United States. Erected by the Government of the United Kingdom."
These two figures were fairly inexperienced leaders of their respective nations during the Second World War, bonding over their similar duties. They had a very friendly relationship, despite their preconceived notions about each other.

Another showing of U.S./England companionship is through the Congressional Medal of Honor for the Unknown Soldier. This medal is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. The medal was given to the Uknown Soldier by the United States Government in 1921 to honor the soldiers lost in the First World War. This action was reciprocated by the Government of the United Kingdom awarding the Victoria Cross to the Unknown Warrior in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The Victoria Cross is the highest award given by the United Kingdom Government for gallantry in the face of the enemy to members of the British Armed Forces.

The Coronation Chair

The Coronation Chair was made for King Edward the I where he stored the Stone of Scone from Scotland. Every royal crowning since then has taken place on this chair. However, the Stone of Scone's was given back to Scotland was returned to Scotland in 1996 as a political move. A deal was made for the next coronation it will be given to continue tradition. The chair is made up of wood with two arms and a full back. In the early days, it was left in the choir room where the young choir boys would use it. They told each other that if they could hide themselves in the church for a night they would stay in the chair and then had to carve something into it. That is why the whole body is made up of random letters and symbols. However, nothing has been added within the last 100+ years.


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