I was blown away by the beauty, history and architecture of Westminster Abbey. If there was one place that was better than expected, it was here. The Abbey has has served as the coronation church of kings and queens for over a thousand years, and still welcomes the Royal Family several times a year. You cannot take pictures inside the Abbey. It is inside where you see the treasures, art, sculptures, tombs and religious art that are simply spectacular. Words cannot describe the beauty. From the tiled, wooden and inlayed floor to one of the most beautiful and detailed ceilings I have ever seen. There are tombs of Kings and Queens here. Mary, Queen of Scotts lies in a magnificent tomb along with Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Ann and many others are here. It is just amazing as you walk around the Abbey. While there is a lot of old history and tombs here, there is also new life with daily masses and worship. This is also the sight where Prince William was married in April of 2011. Wish we had more time here. I could have spent days inside the Abbey. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London,United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. The abbey is a Royal Peculiar and briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1540 to 1550.
According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, the Abbey was first founded in the time of Mellitus (d. 624), Bishop of London, on the present site, then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island); based on a late tradition that a fisherman called Aldrich on the River Thames saw a vision of Saint Peter near the site. This seems to be quoted to justify the gifts of salmon from Thames fishermen that the Abbey received in later years. In the present era, the Fishmonger's Company still gives a salmon every year. The proven origins are that in the 960s or early 970s, Saint Dunstan, assisted by King Edgar, installed a community of Benedictinemonks here.
In 1535, the abbey's annual income of £2400–2800 (£980,000 to £1,140,000 as of 2012), during the assessment attendant on theDissolution of the Monasteries rendered it second in wealth only to Glastonbury Abbey. Henry VIII had assumed direct royal control in 1539 and granted the abbey the status of a cathedral by charter in 1540, simultaneously issuing letters patent establishing the Diocese of Westminster. By granting the abbey cathedral status Henry VIII gained an excuse to spare it from the destruction or dissolution which he inflicted on most English abbeys during this period. Westminster was a cathedral only until 1550. The expression "robbing Peter to pay Paul" may arise from this period when money meant for the abbey, which is dedicated to Saint Peter, was diverted to the treasury of St Paul's Cathedral.