On This Day

Westminster Abbey Consecrated

Edward the Confessor depicted during the construction of Westminster Abbey
Edward the Confessor depicted during the construction of Westminster Abbey

Historical Context

One of the most famous and well-known buildings in all of Britain (and quite possibly the world) is Westminster Abbey, the site of numerous royal weddings, coronations and funerals over its 1000 year history. The construction of the present church began in 1245 during the reign O. Henry III, who selected the site for his burial, but an abbey of various sorts has existed on the site since around 1060, and an order of Benedictine monks occupied the area since at least 960 or 970.

Edward the Confessor began building an abbey in 1042, taking about ten years. On December 28, 1065, the abbey was consecrated, only a week before his death. His successor Harold II was likely crowned there, but the first notable, recorded coronation was that of William the Conqueror on December 25, 1066 after his successful invasion of England and Harold's subsequent death.

Since then every coronation of English and later British monarch has taken place at the Abbey. Thousands of notable people are buried there, including sixteen monarchs, eight Prime Ministers and various other actors, scientists and military leaders.

Drawing Info

Artist: Richard Caton Woodville Jr.
Location drawn: Westminster Abbey, London, England

Source: HistoryToday.com

Related Events

  • 1065-12-28 New church devoted to St Peter the Apostle built by Edward the Confessor - later called the 'west minister' consecrated in London (rebuilt mid 13th century)

Historical Drawings