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Burials, Memorials and Tombs | Westminster Abbey

LondonWestminster AbbeyBurials and Tombs

It is not just the question of who is buried at Westminster Abbey, but also about how many are. Not only is Westminster Abbey one of the most prominent religious monument in the UK, but also the final resting place for thousands of influential figures ranging from poets, scientists, politicians, and monarchs. Some of the famous tombs at the church include Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Edward V and more. As you visit these these tombs and memorials, you can get a true sense of history at Westminster Abbey.

Royal Tombs

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

Who is Buried at Westminster Abbey?

There are over 3000 people buried at Westminster Abbey, which includes 30 kings and queens of England and hundreds of influential figures from various disciplines.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

King Henry III

Henry III was the King of England for 56 years, from 1216 to 1272. He built Westminster Abbey in the second half of his reign and was buried in front of the high altar of the church, which was also the resting place of Edward the Confessor. In 1290, his son Edward moved his body to its current location in the church with a gilt brass tomb effigy made by William Torell.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

King Henry V

Famous for his outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years’ War against France, Henry V was the King of England for just 9 years. He was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1422 and his infant son Henry VI took the throne.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

King Henry VII

Henry VII was the first monarch of the House of Tudor, and ruled for 24 years. He restored power and stability to the English monarchy following the civil war. He is buried next to his wife, Elizabeth, in the Henry VII Chapel that he commissioned in Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

Queen Elizabeth I

The daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, her reign was known as the Elizabethan era, famous for being the golden age of drama, poetry and music. She reigned for 44 years and shares her grave with her half-sister, Mary I.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

Sir Isaac Newton

A leading figure in science, mathematics, and astronomy, Newton is one of the most well-known individuals across the world. Newton passed away in 1727 at Kensington and is buried at Westminster Abbey. Newton’s monument at Westminster is made of white and grey marble, depicting objects from his optic and mathematical work.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

Stephen Hawking

An eminent astrophysicist, mathematician, and author, Professor Stephen Hawking was buried at Westminster Abbey in 2018, next to the tombs of Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. Hawking’s gravestone depicts a series of rings that swirl around a dark eclipse, reflecting his pioneering work on black holes.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

Charles Darwin

Renowned for his science on evolution and his work on scientific literature, ‘On the Origin of Species’ where he introduced the concept of natural selection, Charles Darwin was a geologist and biologist and is also buried at Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

The Unknown Warrior

Representing the thousands of soldiers who died during World War I, the Unknown Warrior is the burial of an unidentified British soldier who was killed in the war. As a sign of respect, this is the only tomb that guests are not allowed to walk into.

Other Memorials at Westminster Abbey

Some other famous figures are also buried at Westminster Abbey. Here are a few of them.

  • Laurence Olivier, one of the greatest directors in history, whose work dominated the British stage in the 20th century.
  • George Freric Handel, one of Britain’s greatest Baroque composers.
  • David Livingstone, a writer, explorer, physician, and missionary, who is famous for his exploration of Africa and for discovering the source of the Nile. 
  • Rudyard Kipling, known for ‘The Jungle Book’ and his short story collections of ‘Kim’ and ‘Just So Stories for Little Children’. 
  • Charles Dickens, a renowned British author with books such as ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘David Copperfield’, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ to his name. 

Westminster Abbey Poets' Corner




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Frequently Asked Questions About Westminster Abbey Burials and Tombs

Who is buried at Westminster Abbey?

Apart from being the final resting place for 30 kings and queens of Britain, Westminster Abbey is also the burial place for other famous figures like Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Darwin and many other prominent people of the past.

How many people are buried at Westminster abbey?

There are over 3300 tombs at Westminster Abbey.

Is Queen Elizabeth I buried at Westminster abbey?

Yes, Queen Elizabeth I is buried at Westminster Abbey.

Where is Isaac Newton buried in Westminster Abbey?

Sir Isaac Newton is buried in the Scientists' Corner in the Abbey, an area dedicated to some of Britain's most illustrious scientists.

Who was the last person buried at Westminster Abbey?

The most recent burial was that of Stephen Hawking, whose ashes were interred in 2018 near the graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

What is the oldest tomb in Westminster Abbey?

The oldest tomb is that of Edward the Confessor, reinterred in a shrine behind the High Altar in 1163.

Can I visit the burials and tombs at Westminster abbey?

Yes, you can visit the tombs and burials at Westminster Abbey.

Is photography allowed inside the tombs and burial areas?

To maintain respect and decorum, photography is generally not allowed within the Abbey, especially in the tombs and burial areas.

Where can I buy tickets to visit the burials and tombs at Westminster abbey?

Online tickets to visit Westminster Abbey tombs and burials can be purchased here.