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Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: London 5: Churches: Photo 15

world pictures The United Kingdom: London 5: Churches

Its neighbor. Westminster abbey is especially important as both a coronation church and a royal mausoleum, an English equivalent of Reims Cathedral combined with St. Denis. The church was begun in 1245 and reflects Henry III's fondness for things French. The towers date only to the 1730s and 40s, however, and were begun by a pupil of Christopher Wren. Wren wrote that to deviate from the existing style "would be to run into a Disagreeable Mixture, which no Person of good Taste could relish" (6:115). Work on the exterior has continued ever since, with the result, in the words of one man charged with the work a century ago, that it had been "so completely recased that to describe it will be to describe a series of modern works." (William Richard Lethaby, Westminster Abbey and the King's Craftsmen..., 1906, p.1.)

We're not going inside. When churches (or national monuments) charge to enter, you know that the spirit that moved their builders has flown the coop.

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