Westminster Abbey is founded upon a religious site of the 7th century. A monastery until 1539. Then an abbey and had the status of a cathedral until 1560. Although it is still referred to as an abbey, it currently has the status of a “Royal Peculiar” and is directly responsible to the monarch. It has been the place of royal coronation and burial since 1066.
The interior photographs that follow are taken from the Abbey website’s photo-gallery ⇒ that provides downloads for personal use.
All Hallows by the Tower (AD 675) is the oldest church in London and almost the oldest in the UK. Some of its fascinating history can be found on its website here and its wiki history here. Older churches can be found here and the oldest UK church still functioning is St Martin’s (AD 597) near Canterbury.
The image above is of the Toc H Lamp signifying membership of that international charity which was founded by army chaplain Rev Tubby Clayton as a refuge from the fighting in Belgium during WWI. The Reverend was later vicar of All Hallows from 1922 to 1962.
All Hallows is a working church and engages in such enterprises as a food bank.
Part of the church was destroyed during WWII but there is a spiral staircase that leads down to the oldest part of the church, including a small museum with Saxon arches. At the end of the aisle is this alter with the rock face beyond.
The church is easy enough to find, being a little to the west of the Tower of London and its green spire easily visible at a distance when emerging from Tower Hill underground rail station.
St Martin in the Field is right beside Trafalgar Square and is notable for its concerts. The lunchtime concerts are free and tickets for evening concerts can be booked in advance. The acoustics are truly remarkable and the choir I heard rehearsing were a real wonder. More here ⇒
You might notice the unusual window that appears to be distorted around the light fitting. That is its real shape. More about the window here ⇒ and listen to the choir below. 🙂