December 28: Westminster Abbey
On this day in the year 1065, Westminster Abbey was dedicated. It had been built by King Edward the Confessor to provide himself with a royal burial church. It has been expanded over the centuries and has been the site of all coronations of English and British monarchs since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066.
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The Chapter House was built under King Henry III between 1245 and 1253. This octagonal room was built in the Geometric gothic style. A pier of eight shafts carries the vaulted ceiling. Originally used by the monks for their daily meetings, it later became a meeting place of the King’s Great Council and the Commons. Illustration from the ClipArt ETC website.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Tomb at Westminster Abbey from the ClipArt ETC website. Chaucer, was buried at Westminster as he had apartments in the Abbey where he was employed as master of the King’s Works. Other poets, writers and musicians were buried or memorialised around Chaucer in what has become known as Poets’ Corner.
Monarchs and other Notables Buried within Westminster Abbey
From the time of Edward the Confessor until the death of George II in 1760, most Kings and Queens of England were buried in Westminster Abbey. Poets, national figures, and other national figures have also been honored with burial here. In all, approximately 3,300 people have been buried in the Abbey. The following are a few of the notable burials.
Anne from the ClipArt ETC website. Anne ruled from 1702 until 1707 as Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.