We used the Underground to get to Westminster Station this morning, and the view that greeted us when we emerged from below was stunning. Parliament! Oh, and that huge clock tower some refer to as Big Ben.
Today’s tour of Westminister Abbey proved the former Benedictine monastery has grown into Great Britains’s most hallowed hall. The site for coronations, weddings, and funerals, the abbey is also the final resting place for hundreds of aristocrats, scientists, literaries, and anyone who was deemed important enough. Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton are both buried there.
There are also many who are simply acknowledged with plaques or tiles or reliefs. Can you find Jane Austen among those in the “Poets Corner”? It’s a modest plaque for a modest woman just to the left of William Shakespeare.
The biggest surprise? How many women are featured! I expected Elizabeth I, of course, but James I, who succeeded her, had a chapel built for his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, on the opposite side of the abbey, so she’s here as well. As are aristocrats’ wives, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Warren and dozens of others.
The majesty of the abbey is best represented by its Gothic structure, so the ceilings are amazing. Just a reminder that sometimes you have to look up to see the artistry. Ta-ta for now!