St. Paul's Cathedral
The grand and majestic Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest buildings in London. With its stunning gothic architecture, it's one of the most popular attractions in London that tourists flock to every year. The iconic Westminster Abbey has witnessed several coronations and other monumental events over the centuries. Here is everything you need to know about Westminster Abbey tickets, timings, location, what to see, and more.
Super Flexible Cancellations: Get a full refund on canceling this ticket up to 24 hours before the schedule.
Super Flexible Cancellations: Get a full refund on canceling this ticket up to 24h before the schedule
Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey is a sacred place for literature lovers. More than 100 poets and writers, including Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters, are buried or have memorials here. The first poet to be buried here was Geoffrey Chaucer, author of 'The Canterbury Tales' in 1400. This area is located in the eastern aisle, the 'corner', of the south transept.
The Coronation Chair in St George’s Chapel is considered to be one of the most precious pieces of furniture in the world. It has remained the centerpiece of coronations for over 700 years. There have been a total of thirty eight coronation ceremonies for reigning monarchs held at the Abbey. The back part of the Chair has graffiti as a result of Westminster schoolboys and visitors carving their names in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Lady Chapel is a magnificent example of late medieval architecture with a spectacular fan-vaulted ceiling. It is the burial place of fifteen kings and queens including Elizabeth I, Mary I and Mary Queen of Scots. The chapel has been used for installations of Knights of the Order of the Bath since 1725. Around the walls you will notice 95 statues of saints. Henry VII spent huge sums on his new Lady Chapel which began construction in 1503 and was completed in 1506.
If you have an aptitude for study, Westminster Abbey also has a library with almost 14000 books printed before 1801. The collection also includes some modern books and pamphlets on the history of Westminster Abbey, St Margaret’s Church, British coronations and much more. Apart from this, the library also has a rich muniment collection, record series and catalogs of the abbey’s collections.
Music is an integral part of Christianity, and Westminster Abbey has been resounding music every day for more than a thousand years. Established almost 600 years ago, the abbey choir sings every day, giving life to the beautiful walls of the abbey. There are two organs at the heart of the abbey’s music, the Harrison & Harrison organ and the Queen’s organ. The abbey also hosts other musical events all year long, including choral concerts, weekly organ recitals and the famous Summer Organ Festival.
Situated at the eastern end of the Henry VII Lady Chapel, the Royal Airforce Chapel is dedicated to brave men that died in the Battle of Britain in 1940. When bombs rained down, the chapel was damaged and a hole made in the stonework was covered with glass and preserved. The chapel has a stained glass window called the Battle of Britain memorial window with visions on four panels that symbolize Redemption.
Westminster Abbey is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens. King Edward the Confessor and Henry III are buried next to each other. In the Confessor’s chapel, you will find the tombs of Edward I, Eleanor of Castile, Edward III, Philippa of Hainault, Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. George II was the last monarch to be buried in the Abbey.
The Chapter House is situated in the East Cloister. It was a meeting place where monks gathered with the abbot to ‘hold chapter’: to pray, read from the rule of St Benedict and discuss the day’s business. Construction began in 1246 and was completed in 1255. It is in the shape of an octagon with seating for up to 80 monks.
After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, many of the abbey’s treasures were evacuated for safekeeping, including the Coronation Chair, the 13th-century Retable, tomb effigies, misericords, manuscripts, statues, and also the bronze grille from Henry VII’s tomb. The Pyx Chamber was used for Air Raid Precautions, the college hall and the library were used to keep watch, and the museum in the Undercroft was turned into a dispensary.
Westminster Abbey also survived bombing raids, the worst one in its history being on the nights of 10th and 11th May 1941. While most fires were put out quickly by volunteers, a menacing fire on the lantern roof burned through the lead and fell into the open area below. This area was mostly used for the enthroning of monarchs during their coronations. Flames shot up to almost 40 feet, but the fire was put out with relative ease because of the spacious open area.
Westminster Abbey is a living symbol of faith at the heart of the British nation. The staff at the abbey works hard to maintain the abbey’s persona as an inclusive working church. Their missions include;
The people of Westminster Abbey also believe in serving each other and assume honor in providing service to everyone that believes in their values; truthfulness, integrity, empathy and excellence.
The abbey welcomes more than one million paying visitors every year and ensures that while they are welcomed with open arms, the visitors also understand the abbey’s primary role towards religious faith. The abbey works towards improving public education through its Education Center and St Margaret’s Church. The abbey also wishes to enhance its relations with the Parliament and play crucial roles in establishing lasting relationships with other churches, both within the borders and overseas. They encourage collaboration with charitable organizations and also promote apprenticeship schemes at the abbey to strengthen their purpose towards better social engagement.
Westminster Abbey is already working hard towards achieving this vision and will continue to put in their best efforts to not just maintain, but also enhance their persona of Faith at the Heart of the Nation. You can learn more about their current roles and their plans for the near future here.
Westminster Abbey is committed to creating a safe environment for everyone that visits them, especially children, young adults and adults at the risk of abuse and allows them to grow in the light of Christianity. The Dean and Chapter are committed to the care, nurture and safeguarding of all children and adults that come to the abbey. They work towards establishing a loving environment that follows the culture of informed vigilance and take active steps towards safeguarding everyone.
Some popular stay options near Westminster Abbey are:
Once you finish visiting Westminster Abbey, you can visit iconic landmarks close to it such as:
If you're visiting for prayer or to attend any other service, the entry into Westminster Abbey is free. However, if you wish to take a tour of the abbey, you will need to buy tickets and it's best to purchase them online for a hassle-free experience.
You can buy your Westminster Abbey Tickets online here for the best deals and discounts.
Anyone who visits Westminster Abbey for worship can do so for free. However this does not allow access to all the tombs, monuments, or the Abbey Museum.
Yes, visitors are allowed to attend mass at Westminster Abbey.