Westminster Abbey has a long history. In the middle of the tenth century the first Benedictine monks came to the site and established a tradition of daily worship. The eastern part of the 11th century abbey was founded by King Edward the Confessor and dedicated in 1065. The gothic building of the present-day church was begun in 1245 by King Henry III. He also provided a new shrine for the church's saint, St Edward. Henry III had also laid the foundation stone for a new Lady Chapel, which early 16th century was replaced under King Henry VII.
There has always been a link between the Abbey and the Royal Family of the country.
Since 1066 the Abbey has been the coronation church of the English and British monarchs. The Abbey thus far has witnessed 38 coronations. The first documented one was the coronation of William the Conquerer in 1066.
The Abbey is also the resting place of seventeen monarchs. The last monarch to be buried here was King George II in 1760. Because of lack of space after this time the monarchs were buried at Windsor. However the Abbey has hosted only sixteen royal weddings, including the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Photos and copryright: Netty Leistra