My visit to Westminster Abbey was an exciting one for me, as it was combining two things I love – British history and literature.
Westminster Abbey is an incredible sight to see, inside and out. I won’t be able to show you anything from inside, as no photos were allowed, but I’ll try to portray the awe I felt walking through the abbey.
In case you didn’t know, Westminster Abbey is full of famous burials, starting of course with the British monarchy. That in itself should be enough to garner a visit. Like I said, I’m a little obsessed with British history, so it was really cool to be able to see where people like Elizabeth I were buried. There’s also Mary I; Mary, Queen of Scots; Henry VII; Elizabeth of York; and a bunch of others I haven’t listed.
By far, the most impressive room for me was the Henry VII Lady Chapel. The Lady Chapel was contracted by Henry VII and began construction in 1503. He and his wife, Elizabeth of York, are buried here. Beyond the history aspect of what this room holds (their marriage was essentially what ended the War of the Roses), the room itself is exquisitely built, the ceiling’s architecture being especially incredible.
Then there was Poet’s Corner. I cannot describe how I felt standing there, surrounded by some of the best in the business. It was awe-inspiring. Geoffrey Chaucer was the first writer buried in Westminster Abbey, however he was not buried because of his literary prowess, but for his duties as a clerk of the palace of Westminster. Even still, the tradition was eventually picked up, and some of my favourites ended up being buried there, including Charles Dickens (!) and Rudyard Kipling. There are memorials placed there as well, for writers buried elsewhere, including Shapkespeare, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, and so many more. For an English nerd like me, it was amazing to be standing there, to say the least
After my tour of Westminster Abbey, I walked over to Parliament Square to look at the parliament buildings. That’s also some pretty incredible architecture. I got to see Big Ben (which I later found out is not actually the clock tower itself, but only the bell at the top) and the London Eye.
I was pretty content by the end of all that, but my day was not over quite yet. Later that evening I would be heading out on a walking ghost tour, hoping to scare myself silly and find some inspiration for a novel I’d like to write. Come back Saturday, May 28th, and I’ll tell you the tales of all the ghosts I met on a gloomy, misty night, the perfect night for ghost watching 😉