Saints and Stones: Westminster

According to tradition, a shrine was first founded in 616 A.D. on the present site of Westminster.

In the 1040s, King Edward (later St Edward the Confessor), last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, established his royal palace by the banks of the river Thames on land known as Thorney Island. Close by was a small Benedictine monastery founded under the patronage of King Edgar and St. Dunstan around 960 A.D.

Edward chose to re-endow and greatly enlarge the monastery, building a large stone church in honour of St. Peter the Apostle. The church became known as the “west minster” to distinguish it from St. Paul’s Cathedral (the east minster) in the City of London.

The Abbot and learned monks, in close proximity to the royal Palace of Westminster, the seat of government from the later 12th Century, became a powerful force in the centuries after the Norman Conquest.

About Westminster

Westminster Abbey Website
Wikipedia: Westminster Abbey
Wikipedia: Dunstan
Wikipedia: Benedictines

Journey to Westminster

Westminster Abbey is located in the heart of London next to Parliament Square and opposite the Houses of Parliament. Take the London Underground and exit at St James’s Park (District and Circle Lines) or Westminster (Jubilee, District & Circle Lines).

Ordnance Survey Map (TQ2995979549)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Westminster Abbey website. General tourist information may be found on the Visit London website.

Additional Photos of Westminster

West Front of Westminster Abbey
North Entrance of Westminster Abbey
Close-Up of North Entrance, Westminster Abbey

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