City of London  Borough of Wandsworth
Westminster Abbey  St Margaret's Westminster

Westminster Abbey
Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster

Underground: Westminster: Circle and District lines
Hours: Monday to Friday 9.30am-4.30pm; Wednesday to 7.00pm Saturday 9.30am - 2.30pm
Last admission 1 hour before closing. Sunday: no visitors, worship only
Entrance Fee: £15.00
No Photography
Places Kings & Queens Other Plantagents etc Ecclesiastics Others
The Sanctuary & Chapel of Edward the Confessor
St Edmund's Chapel
St Andrew's Chapel
South Transept: Poets' Corner
St Nicholas's Chapel
North Transept
St Benedict's Chapel
South Ambulatory
St John the Baptist's Chapel
North Choir Aisle
Edward the Confessor
Henry III
Edward I
Eleanor of Castile
Edward III
Philippa of Hainhault
Richard II
Anne of Bohemia
Henry V
William de Valance
Aymer de Valance
John de Valance
Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester
John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall
John of Windsor
John de Waltham
Robert de Waldeby
Simon de Langham
Lord John Thynne
Sir Humphrey de Bouchier
Elizabeth Cecil
Hugh & Mary de Bohum
The Arts Scientists Diplomats  
John Philip Kemble
William Camden
John William Strut, Lord Raleigh
Sir Humphrey Davy
Mathew Baillie
Sir George Gabrie Stokes
John Couch Adams
Joseph Baron Lister
Alfred Russel Wallace
Charles Darwin
James Prescot Joule
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir William Ramsay

Viscount Canning
Earl Canning
The Sactuary &
Chapel of King Edward the Confessor

King Edward the Confessor (d. 1066)

Edward vowed that he would build a new church should he ever return as England's king following his exile in Normandy; hence he rebuilt the Saxon church at Westminster with a new church in the Norman style. This was consecrated in December 1065; Edward died the following January and was buried before the high altar. Following miracles, William the Conqueror raised a stone gilded and jewelled tomb over the grave. After Edward's canonization, a shrine  was prepared by Henry II to which the earlier King's remains were translated in 1163. The Abbey was rebuilt by King Henry III and Edward's body moved to a newly prepared shrine in 1269, the lower part of which can be seen today. This is of Purbeck marble decorated with mosaic, the chief artist being Peter the Roman.  Above this base was the golden shrine containing the King's coffin.  In the lower part of the shrine are the recesses in which sick persons knelt. At the dissolution the shrine was despoiled of its relicts, gold and jewels and Edward's coffin buried elsewhere. Under Queen Mary the coffin was replaced and the shrine rebuilt although it was again later despoiled of its wealthy trappings.
In the old church Queen Edith (d.1075) , Edward's wife, was buried near her husband's tomb. There are no records of her coffin being moved. Also in this area was buried his great grand niece Maud (or Edith) daughter of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland. Also the heart of Henry of Almayne, son of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who was murdered by his cousin Guy de Montford.
For recent investigation of this area of the Abbey and recently discovered graves click here.
King Henry III (d. 1272)

He was the son of King John whom he succeeded as a boy in 1216; he was first crowned a Gloucester, and four years later at  Westminster Abbey itself. Henry was responsible forrebuilding the Abbey and almost all of the building west of Henry VIII chapel belongs to this reign. He built a shrine to Edward the Confessor to which the king's body was translated in 1269. Henry was originally buried before the high altar in a grave which had been that of Edward the Confessor but nineteen years later translated to the present tomb which was built by his son, Edward I. He heart was buried at Fontevraud but there is no monument there.
The King's tomb consists of a Purbeck Marble base of two stages, into the sides of which are set slabs of Italian porphyry; it was inlaid with mosaic gilded and brightly coloured with tesserae of red and green porphyry, marble and glass, much of which have been stolen. On the side of the tomb nearest the Confessor's shrine are arched recesses which may have contained relics of the saint.

The effigy is of gilded cast bronze and was made by Master William Torel, who also made that of Queen Eleanor. The face would seem to be an idealized likeness of the King. His head lies on a double cushion on which are decorated, as is the top of the tomb,  with lions of England. The gablet is now missing. An iron grille - by Master Henry of Lewes - once protected the tomb and the wooden canopy was once gilded and painted.
The original Norman-French inscription around the edge of the tomb remains and in translation reads: 'Here lies Henry, sometime King of England, Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine, the son of King John, sometime King of England: on whom God may have mercy. Amen.'

King Edward I (d. 1307)
He succeeded his father Henry III in 1272 and became the first king to be crowned in the new Abbey. He built the tomb of Henry (see above) and also that of his first wife Queen Eleanor (see below).  He aso deposited the famous Scone of Scone,on which the Scottish kings had been crowned,  in the Abbey  although it was returned to Scotland at the end of the 20th century. He died in July 1307 at Burgh-on-the-Sands, Cumberland, on his final campaign against the Scots and his body was brought back to England, where it lay at Waltham Abbey, Essex, near the grave of King Harold II, for about fifteen weeks. In October the late King's body was brought back to London where it lay for three succesive nights in the churches of Holy Trinity, St Paul's and Friars Minor before being brought to the Abbey for burial.
The tomb chest is plain and consists of grey marble slabs, joined without mortar, on a stone base; there was never an effigy. There was once a wooden canopy over it and an iron grille between it and the ambulatory, but these are now lost. On the ambulatory side is painted 'Edward Primus Scotorum Malleus' and 'Pactum Serva'. ('Edward I Hammer of the Scots' and 'Keep Troth') although these were probably added in the mid XVI century.
In 1774 the tomb was opened to reveal a Purbeck marble coffin in which lay the King wrapped in a waxed linen cloth, his face being covered by crimson face cloth. Below this the King wore his royal robes, holding a rod and scepter and wearing a crown on this head. Below these robes there was a closely fitting wax cloth. He was found to be 6' 2" tall: hence his nickname Longshanks.
Eleanor of Castile (d. 1290)

Eleanor of Castile was the first wife of Edward I. She died at Harby, Nottinghamshire and Edward raised the 'Eleanor Crosses' at the points where the funeral procession rested on its journey to Westminster. Three monuments were raised over Eleanor's remains: as above at Westminster; at Lincoln (containing her entrails), of which only the tomb chest remains; and at Blackfriars, London (containing her heart) which was totally destroyed at the Dissolution.
Master William Torel of London cast the beautiful gilt-bronze effigy. Her right hand once held a sceptre. The pillows and the top of the tomb are covered with the castles of Castile and the lions of Leon. The metalwork was finished by William Sprot and John de Ware. Around the top is a Norman-French inscription which, on translation, reads:
Here lies Eleanor, sometime Queen of England, wife to King Edward, son to King Henry, and daughter of  the King of Spain and Countess of Ponthieu, on whose soul may God in His pity have mercy. Amen.
The woodwork was carried out by Master Thomas de Hokyntone. However the canopy, which was painted by Master Walter of Durham, has been replaced.
On the ambulatory side (not shown) is a iron grille by Master Thomas of Leighton Buzzard.
The Purbeck marble tomb chest is by Master Richard of Crundale. The shields hung on branches of trees bear the arms of England, Castile quartering Leon and Ponthieu.
Below the chest, and visible from the ambulatory, is a painting (perhaps by Master Walter of Durham) of Sir Otes de Grandison (who rescued Edward in the Holy Land and who died in 1328) kneeling before the Virgin and Child and four pilgrims praying before the Holy Sepulchre

Note: King Edward II was buried at Gloucester
top of page
King Edward III (d.1377)

King Edward III's tomb is of Purbeck marble around which are niches which originally contained bronze effigies of Edward and Philippa's children but only six of these (on the south side) remain: Edward the Black Prince; Joan of the Tower; Lionel, Duke of Clarence; Lionel, Duke of York; Mary of Brittany; and William of Hatfield. (see below) Their arms were on enamelled shields at their feet but only four remain. On the base on the ambulatory side (as shown) are enamelled shields with the arms of England and St George.
The effigy, around which runs a Latin rhyming inscription,  is of gilt-bronze; the face is thought to be based on a death mask but the hair and beard are idealised.
The wooden canopy over the tomb may be by Master Hugh Herland.

Philippa of Hainhault (d.1369)

Queen Philippa of Hainhault was the wife of Edward III. The tomb is of marble by Hennequin de Liege. Most of the weepers have been lost. The effigy is of alabaster - almost certainly a portrait. (compare the idealized effigy of Eleanor) Again the scepter, which has been held in the right hand has been lost. The columns at the side of the effigy formerly contained small figures. The tomb is covered by a wooden canopy. An iron grille, from St Paul's Cathedral, formerly protected the tomb. There were originally seventy figures made by John Orchard of London, bronze worker who also erected and repaired the grille.

Richard II (d. 1400)  & Anne of Behemia (d. 1394)

Richard was deposed in 1399 by his cousin, Henry Bolinbroke, Duke of Lancaster, and imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he was probably murdered. Henry became king as Henry IV. Richard's body was taken to St Paul's, where it was displayed publicly for three days to show that the former king was indeed dead. He was then buried at King's Langley in Hertfordshire.
 In 1413 King Henry V, in order to make amends for his father's deposition of Richard, ordered Richard's body be translated to Westminster where he was buried in the tomb that he had had constructed for himself and his queen, Anne, who had died earlier. Anne had died in the Palace of Sheen and Richard had been so overcome with grief at her death that he had the building torn down.

The tomb is similar to that of Edward III. It is by masons Henry Yelele and Stephen Lote and by coppersmiths Nicholas Broker and Godfrey Prest, all of London. The effigies are of gilt bronze and are almost certainly portraits: compare the portrait of a younger Richard which can be seen in the Nave. The King and Queen originally held hands. Richard wears his coronation robes. The effigies are incised all over with various badges: on Richard's cape is the Plantagenet plant; also can be seen the white hart, the sunburst, the two-headed imperial eagle and the lion of Bohemia. The top of the tomb is decorated with fleurs-de-lys, lions and eagles.
There used to be twelve gilt images of saints and eight angels as well as enamelled coats of arms around the tomb.
On the inside of the wooden canopy over the tomb are painted Christ in Majesty, the Coronation of the Virgin and Queen Anne's arms, the painter being John Hardy. A rhyming inscription in Latin is painted around the edge of the canopy.

Note: King Henry IV was buried at Canterbury
top of page
King Henry V (d. 1422)
King Henry died at Viencennes in August, only 34 yearsof age. His body was embalmed and rested for a while in Rouen Cathedral. His body was then brought from France to Dover and from there to London to lie in state in St Paul's Cathedral. He was buried in the Abbey in November.
The tomb, which is situated in a chantry chapel, was not finished until 1431. It consists of  a Purbeck marble tomb chest which has now lost its decoration. The effigy consisted of a head, hands,scepter of silver and silver gilt plates covered the oak body. These were all stolen in 1545 so that only the oak core remained. A new head and hands of polyester by Louisa Bolt were add in 1971.  The gates to the chantry chapel are by Roger Johnson and were constructed in 1430-32.
Aymer de Valance
Earl of Pembroke (d. 1324)

He was son of William de Valance (q.v.) and hence cousin to Edward II, to whom he remained loyal in their war with their cousin Thomas of Lancaster (son of Edmund Crouchback) and was present when Lancaster was judged guilty of treason after the battle of Boroughbridge. He held estates both in England and in France where he died.
The weepers around the tomb chest remain and the Earl's effigy is represented in the armour of the period. His surcoat is with the Lusignan arms.
Above is a fine canopy on which the Earl is represented fully armed and on horseback. 

John de Valance (d. 1277)

John de Valance was young son of William de Valance. Cross slab with remains of brass inlaid and applied Cosmatic work. The slab to his sister Margaret (1276) is nearby. 

John de Waltham
Bishop of Salisbury (d. 1395)

He was buried with the kings by order of Richard II. Any objection was overcome by the gift to the Abbey of two fine copes and a large sum of money from the King and the Bishop's executors.

St Edmund's Chapel
William de Valance (d.1296) Robert de Waldeby
Archbishop of York (d. 1387)
Duchess of Gloucester (d. 1399)
Sir Humphrey de Bourchier (k. 1471) John of Eltham
Earl of Cornwall (d. 1336)

William de Valance was the son of Isabelle of Angoulême, King John's widow, and hence half brother to King Henry III. The tomb is the only English example of Limoges champlevé enamel work. The effigy and tomb chest are of oak and once were both covered by enamelled copper plates, mostly now lost from the chest although not on the effigy. 

Archbishop de Waldeby was a friend of the Black Prince. Fine brass

Eleanor was wife of Edward III's youngest son, Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. Very fine brass on low altar tomb.

Sir Humphrey Bourchierwas killed at the Battle of Barnet fighting for Edward IV. The brass effigy is lost  but the helm and shields remain. On low tomb chest

John of Eltham was the 2nd son of Edward II and was three times regent when Edward III was absent. Alabaster effigy, probably by the same artist who made Edward II's effigy. Note the weepers around the tomb chest.  The canopy was broken in 1776 and unfortunately removed.

St Andrew's Chapel

John Philip Kemble (d. 1823) represented as Cato by J Flaxman and finished after the latter's death by J E Hinchliffe. The monument originally stood in the North Transept. Kemble was buried in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was a celebrated actor and was born in Prescot, Lancashire (my home town), where Kemble Street, is named after him.  I remember a plaque on the house where he was born.
John William (Strutt) 3rd Baron Rayleigh OM PRS (d.1919) He succeeded James Clerk Maxwell as Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge and was Chancellor 1908-10. He was joint discoverer of the noble gas Argon for which he was rewarded the Nobel Prize. The bust relief is by Francis Derwent Wood.
Sir Humphrey Davy Bt FRS (d. 1829) Tablet by Sir F Chantrey. A Cornishman, he invented the famous miners' lamp that was named after him and from which he refused to profit. He discovered the elements K, Na, B, Ca, Ba and Cd. He also discovered the anaesthetic effect of nitrous oxide - which is still used today. Teacher of Michael Faraday. Buried at Geneva.
Mathew Baillie MD (d. 1823) Physician and anatomist. Buried at Duntisbourne Abbey, Gloucestershire. Bust by Sir Francis Chantrey

South Transept:
Poets' Corner

William Camden (1623) Antiquary and author of Magna Brittania. He was buried in the South Transept.

St Nicholas's Chapel

Elizabeth Cecil Wife of Sir Robert Cecil, son of Lord Burghley. Alabaster tomb with black marble slab, erected by her husband. 

North Transept

 Charles John Canning, 1st Earl of Canning (1862) 1st Viceroy of India. He was buried with his father, the Prime Minister, near by. By J H Foley.
Stratford Canning, 1st Viscount Canning (1800) Diplomat. By Sir J H Boehm. Verse  on the monument is by Tennyson. Buried at Frant, Sussex.

St Benedict's Chapel

Cardinal Simon de Langham (1376) Abbot of Westminster, later Chancellor of England and still later Archbishop of Canterbury. When he was made a cardinal he was obliged to resign as archbishop and join the Papal court. By Henry Yevele & Stephen Lote. Canopy destroyed at the coronation of George I but much of the brass inscription remains.  
South Ambulatory

This Cosmatic tomb-chest lies between the Chapels of St Edmund and St Benedict and dates from the last quarter of the thirteenth century. Recent research has revealed that it was almost certainly originally in the Chapel of St Edward the Confessor and made for one of the sons of Edward I, either John of Windsor (1271) or Alfonso (1284)

St John the Baptist's Chapel

Hugh (1304) & Mary (1305)  de Bohum Children of Humphrey de Bohum, Earl of Hereford & Elizabeth, 4th Daughter of Edward I. Purbeck. Originally in St Nicholas's Chapel 

North Choir Aisle

The recumbent effigy is of Lord John Thynne (1881) Cleric. Third son of the 2nd Marquis of Bath. He was Canon of Westminster for 49 years and Sub-dean for 46. Buried at Haynes, Beds. By H H Armstead.

Above are five roundels, from left to right:

Sir George Gabriel Stokes, 1st Bt, PRS (1903) Mathematician. Like Newton he was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge and MP Cambridge. (and, like Newton, never spoke in the house) Stoke's law is a simple equation in fluid mechanics. Bronze bust by Sir W H Thornycroft.
John Couch Adams FRS (1892) Mathematician and Astronomer. He predicted the existence of the planet Neptune based on the movement of Uranus and Newton's Law of Gravitation. Marble bust by A Bruce Joy
Joseph Lister OM FRS 1st Baron Lister (1912) Surgeon. Pioneer of antiseptic treatment, reducing the appalling death rate from infection following surgery. Buried at Hamstead. White marble bust by Sir T Brock.
Alfred Russel Wallace OM FRS (1913) Naturalist. He formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection independently of Darwin. In 1858 he and Darwin publicly announced in a join paper to the Linnean Society. White marble bust by A Bruce Joy
Charles Robert Darwin FRS (1882) Naturalist. Famous as the author of Origin of Species and the theory of evolution by natural selection. Buried in north aisle of nave near Newton.  Bronze bust by Sir J E Boehm.

Below the Stokes plaque:
James Prescot Joule FRS (1889) Physicist. Famous for establishing the mechanical equivalent of heat. The SI unit of energy is named the Joule after him. Buried at Sale, Ches. White marble tablet.
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM GCSI PRS (1911) Botanist. Friend of Darwin. Director of Kew Gardens 1865-85. Published the Flora of Antarctica, New Zealand and Tasmania. Buried at Kew. White marble bust by F Bowcher
Sir William Ramsay KCB FRS (1911) Chemist. He discovered with Lord Rayleigh argon and alone isolated helium, neon, krypton and xenon - all 'noble' gases. Bronze bust by C L Hartwell

top of page

St Margaret's - Westminster  
Underground: Westminster: Circle and District lines
Hours: Monday - Friday 9.30am - 3.30 pm
Saturday 9.30am - 1.30 pm
Sunday 2.00pm - 5.00pm
No Photography
Dorothy Stafford (1604) widow of William Stafford Blanch Parrye (1595/6)  Thomas Arnways Hugh Haughton (1616) and his daughter Elizabeth (1615)
From left to right:
Sir Francis Egoike (1622)
James Palmer (1659/60)
Attrib to Joshua Marshall
Cornelius Vandun (1577);
Rev William Conway MA
Canon of Westminster by R C Belt 1878
From left to right:
Sarah English (1729) attrib to Robert Hartshorne
Bishop Womack (1685/86) attrib to Grinling Gibbons
Robert Stewart (1714) Designed by James Gibbs; attrib to Andrew Carpenter

John Churchill (1715)
Sir John Cross (1762) Sir Peter Parker (1814) Signed by P Prosperi Dr Patrick Colquhorn LL D (1820) by C H Smith

Mary Brocas (1654)
Attrib to Joshua Marshall

Modern tablet in memory of General-at-Sea Robert Blake and the plaque outside the church to those ejected from the Cromwell Vault in Westminster Abbey at the Restoration. This latter was placed by the Cromwell Association.


Return to previous ('Monuments') page click here  City of London  Borough of Wandsworth