Asked By: Ethan Henderson Date: created: May 23 2023

What famous person is buried at Westminster Abbey

Answered By: Ethan Butler Date: created: May 25 2023

Westminster Abbey Burials FAQs – Q. Who are some of the most notable figures buried in the tombs of Westminster Abbey? A. Westminster Abbey is the last abode of many British monarchs, including Edward the Confessor and Elizabeth I, as well as well known figures such as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens.Q.

  • Is Westminster Abbey reserved for British royalty and aristocrats? A.
  • No, while many royals and aristocrats are found there, Westminster Abbey also houses the grave sites of poets, scientists, & other significant figures from various disciplines.Q.
  • Are there any U.S.
  • Presidents buried in Westminster Abbey? A.

No, there are no U.S. Presidents buried in Westminster Abbey; it primarily commemorates British figures and a few notable individuals from foreign soil.Q. What is the significance of the Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey? A. The Poets’ Corner is a special section of Westminster Abbey dedicated to poets, playwrights, and writers, including Geoffrey Chaucer, T.S.

  1. Eliot, and William Shakespeare, among others.Q.
  2. How old is Westminster Abbey, and when did it start becoming a burial place? A.
  3. Westminster Abbey, founded in 960 AD, became a significant burial place after the consecration of its current structure in 1065, starting with King Edward the Confessor.
  4. There are thousands of graves and memorials in Westminster Abbey,

You could easily spend an hour or two discovering the famous names and learning their incredible stories. So, what are you waiting for?

Who is buried in Westminster Abbey Royal?

Explore our History – Westminster Abbey is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens starting with King Edward the Confessor whose magnificent shrine stands just behind the High Altar. Henry III, who built the church you see today, is buried near him. Tomb of St Edward the Confessor Effigy of Henry III The tombs of Edward I, Eleanor of Castile, Edward III, Philippa of Hainault, Richard II and Anne of Bohemia are all in St Edward the Confessor ‘s chapel. When Henry V died in 1422 he was buried near to the Saint and above his tomb was built a chantry chapel in which Holy Communion is still celebrated every year on 25th October, St Crispin’s Day, the anniversary of his famous battle at Agincourt.

  • His queen Katherine of Valois is buried in the chantry.
  • From 1503 Henry VII lavished huge sums on a new Lady chapel, just east of Henry V’s chantry.
  • Dedicated to the Virgin Mary it is the last great masterpiece of English medieval architecture.
  • Its spectacular fan vaulted ceiling and the King’s imposing tomb, with gilt bronze effigies of him and his queen Elizabeth of York, continue to inspire awe and wonder 500 years on.

James I is buried in Henry VII’s vault (under the tomb) but has no monument and his queen Anne of Denmark lies nearby. In this chapel’s north aisle the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I is buried with her half-sister the Catholic Queen Mary I in an imposing tomb.

On the floor beside their tomb is the inscription: “Remember before God all those who divided at the Reformation by different convictions laid down their lives for Christ and conscience sake.” Due to lack of space no monuments could be erected for Charles II, Queen Anne, Queen Mary II or her husband King William III,

They are all buried in a vault in the south aisle with just simple inscriptions on small stones. The tomb of Mary Queen of Scots is also in this aisle. Boy king Edward VI lies just in front of the altar. George II was the last monarch to be buried in the Abbey, in a vault under the central aisle of this chapel, with his queen Caroline. The Lady Chapel

Asked By: Oscar Wilson Date: created: Feb 23 2024

How many bodies are buried in Westminster Abbey

Answered By: Jackson Lopez Date: created: Feb 23 2024

11 Surprising Hidden Details In Westminster Abbey – Posted on October 29, 2019 Westminster Abbey was founded in 960 AD and the current building is the third major one on its site. It’s the nation’s Royal Church; home to weddings, funerals and the Monarch’s Coronation ceremony which has taken place here since the 11th century. As a Blue Badge Guide I’m lucky enough to lead private guided tours around the Abbey and so I wanted to share some of the quirkier details most people don’t notice! These are my 11 favourites There’s well over 3,000 people buried under Westminster Abbey.

But one is unique; Ben Jonson was a poet, playwright and actor. A contemporary of Shakespeare. Fitting the stereotype of a penniless thespian, Jonson died impoverished in 1637 despite his creative success and as such couldn’t afford a full six foot by two foot burial spot in the Abbey. There are different versions of how came about, but essentially Jonson apparently said that ‘two feet by two feet will do for all I want’.

In a cash-saving plan, he was buried upright! Seems unbelievable right? Well in 1849 while a nearby burial was being dug, sure enough, the clerk of the works spotted two upright leg bones in the sand! The original plaque has now been moved to the North wall and there’s another – hardly legible – plaque in the North aisle. The majority of the Abbey we see today was built under King Henry III in the 1240s. However Henry III went a bit wild with the budget and 1272 when he died, finishing the Abbey was put on hold. It would take another 100 years until King Richard II took on the project of completing the Abbey’s nave and when it did, something had to be taken out of the budget. On the left hadn’t side the stone spandrels have a decorated flowery pattern called diapering, while on the right it’s plain. This marks the spot where Henry III’s Abbey ends and Richard II’s begins! This remarkably morbid monument can be found in St Michael’s chapel. It commemorates Lady Elizabeth Nightingale and was designed by Louis Francois Roubiliac. It shows Death emerging from below and aiming a spear at the dying Elizabeth as her husband tried in vain to protect her. It’s thought that the inspiration for the design came from Elizabeth’s brother-in-law who dreamt a skeleton had appeared at his bedside and crept between him and his wife as they lay asleep. Although Death has now lost his lower jaw, it’s still one of the most powerful and macabre sculptures in Westminster Abbey. An Abbot of Westminster from 1500-1532, John Islip has a dedicated side chapel. If you look up above its entrance you can see his ‘rebus’ – a pictorial pun on his name. The ‘eye’ is shown by a branch (known as a ‘slip’) – Islip, geddit?? We owe the majority of the current Abbey to King Henry III, but if anything he was too popular for his own good. His lavish tomb, inlaid with gilded mosaic and coloured glass proved too tempting for pilgrims visiting the Westminster Abbey over centuries. At about outstretched-hand-height you can see where cheeky visitors have picked off little mementos to take home. This is the tomb of Francis Sidney, Countess of Sussex. She was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth I and founded Sidney Sussex College Cambridge. But the curious thing is the little creature at her feet; a blue porcupine. It’s the mascot of the Cambridge college and appears on the Sidney family coat of arms. But why? The porcupine first appears in the Sidney family under the second William Sidney; a naval Captain and Commander in the British Army, knighted in 1514. In the early 1500s William travelled to France with King Henry VIII’s sister; Mary, on a mission to marry her off to the French King Louis XII. Why blue? No idea, sorry! You’ve probably seen portraits of Queen Elizabeth I? She never appears much older than 30, complete with a bright white, wrinkle-free face and red lips. But when the Virgin Queen died at the age of 69, the effigy for her tomb was cast from a death mask. It’s probably the closest you’ll get to looking right into the eyes of a Queen! When the stained glass of the Henry VII’s Chapel was blasted out during WWII, Lord Harris of Peckham was a major donor to restore the chapel. In 2000 he and his wife presented the central stained glass window and you can see their figures in the bottom right hand corner! King Henry VII Chapel also boasts the largest surviving collection of figure sculptures from early Tudor England. Saint sculptures were largely destroyed (thought of as overly Catholic) during the reformation but these 96 statues were saved. Luckily it was through a combination of their prestigious location and the fact they were high up! Two of the Saints are particularly intriguing Amongst the 95 others, this saint doesn’t really stand out. St Wilgefortis never wanted to marry and prayed to God to make her so ugly that her intended husband would call off the marriage. Sure enough, the next morning she was delighted to discover she’d grown a thick bushy beard. She got her wish and the wedding was cancelled! When I imagine short-sighted ‘ye olde’ folks going about their business, I assumed they struggled along and don’t ever picture them wearing glasses. You’ll probably have noticed the colourful flags decorating the Henry VII Chapel. They’re the coat of arms for members of the Order of the Bath, a chivalric order re-founded in 1725 for ex-military or government workers. If you receive the honour of being admitted into the order, but don’t happen to have your own Coat of Arms. More fun details in the Henry VII Chapel can be found closer to eye-level. The seats around the edges of the Lady Chapel are known as Misericords from the Latin meaning ‘mercy’ or ‘pity’. Because the seats flip down while being used by monks during long services, carpenters could have a bit of fun with the decoration. Blue Badge Guides have the privilege of being to lead private guided tours of the wonderful Westminster Abbey. If you’re interested in visiting the abbey, please email [email protected] Westminster Abbey is free to visit for worship but otherwise you can buy tickets online in advance. For the latest information on visiting, head to their website here,

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If you’re on the hunt for things to literally look up to, you can do no wrong with these beautiful sights. How many have you visited?. Often listed as one of the greenest cities in the world, London is blessed with 8 Royal Parks and surrounded by woodland. However, I’ve made a list of the more esoteric green places to visit in central London, spots with an interesting tale or simply in an unexpected place. More excuses to visit some of London’s most intriguing pubs!. One of the most popular attractions in London, the 750 year old Abbey has plenty of sneaky details to uncover!. It’s tough curating a museum of death and destruction. Here are my highlights from an introductory tour. London is crawling with ghost stories and gruesome fables, but I wanted to share some genuinely creepy and truly historic places you can explore to get in the Halloween spirit.

Where will the Queen be buried?

History of St. George’s Chapel – Where Will The Queen Be Buried? WPA Pool // Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II’s death last week brought a wave of condolences from around the world. It also swiftly set into motion a carefully choreographed series of funeral procedures, steeped in royal protocol and centuries of British history.

Over the next six days, the Queen’s will embark on one final tour of the United Kingdom—a journey that began at, her private residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland—pausing in London on Monday morning for the Queen’s State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, where some of the most famous names in British royal history have been interred.

But Westminster will not be the Queen’s final resting place; she will be buried amid generations of royals at St. George’s Chapel, on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Gothic chapel is a place defined by nearly 1,000 years of history and has been a venue for many occasions, both in times of celebration and times of mourning. The ornate interior of St. George’s Chapel, where Queen Elizabeth will be buried. Tim Graham // Getty Images Where Is St. George’s Chapel? St. George’s Chapel is on the grounds of Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s official, in the town of Windsor just 10 miles west of London on the River Thames. Queen Elizabeth at St. George’s chapel for a special 80th birthday service in her honor in 2006. Anwar Hussein Collection // Getty Images

Why is the Queen not being buried at Westminster Abbey?

Why isn’t the queen being buried at Westminster Abbey? – Queen Elizabeth will not be buried at Westminster Abbey because there is not enough space. There are 30 British monarchs who have their final resting place at Westminster Abbey, but no monarch has been buried there since 1760 due to space limitations.

Asked By: Norman Jones Date: created: Jul 15 2023

Where is Henry VIII buried

Answered By: Donald Carter Date: created: Jul 15 2023

Where is Henry VIII buried? – Henry VIII’s body rests in a vault under the Quire in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle near his third wife, Jane Seymour. Intriguingly, the sarcophagus that was originally intended to form part of Henry’s final resting place was eventually used for the tomb of Lord Nelson in St Paul’s Cathedral. Henry VIII from the studio of Hans Holbein Discover the rich royal history of the area where Henry VIII built his first tournament ground, Elizabeth I took daily walks in the Park, and where Inigo Jones built the Queen’s House : Where did King Henry VIII live and die?

Asked By: Harry Harris Date: created: Oct 15 2023

What is the oldest grave in Westminster Abbey

Answered By: Thomas Jones Date: created: Oct 18 2023

Royal Tombs – Westminster Abbey is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens. The first king to be buried at Westminster Abbey was Edward the Confessor in the year 1066. Until George II of England in 1760, most Kings and Queens of Englans were buried at this iconic church.

Asked By: Angel Edwards Date: created: Aug 10 2023

Is Shakespeare buried at Westminster Abbey

Answered By: Jaden Morris Date: created: Aug 11 2023

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire. Shortly after Shakespeare’s death there was some talk about removing his remains from Stratford to Westminster Abbey but the idea was soon abandoned.

Poet William Basse wrote: Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh to learned Chaucer ; and rare Beaumont, lie a little nearer Spenser, to make room for Shakespeare. Ben Jonson also wrote the lines: My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie a little further on to make thee room.

But it was not until 29th January 1741 (1740 in Old Style dating) that a memorial statue to him was finally erected in Poets’ Corner (although the Dean and Chapter had given leave to erect a monument to him back in 1726 at the request of John Rich. Perhaps funds were not forthcoming at this time).

What was the largest funeral in British history?

Other state funerals – State funerals of distinguished citizens have followed a similar pattern to those of the monarch, except for the location of the funeral and burial. Churchill’s body was taken by gun carriage from Westminster Hall (where it had lain in state) to St Paul’s Cathedral for the funeral, which was said at that time to have been the largest in world history, bringing together representatives from 112 nations.

Is Stephen Hawking buried at Westminster Abbey?

The physicist, who died in March at 76, was laid to rest in the Scientists’ Corner, between Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. June 15, 2018, 9:14 PM UTC / Updated June 15, 2018, 9:14 PM UTC LONDON — The ashes of Stephen Hawking were buried Friday in a corner of Westminster Abbey that honors some of Britain’s greatest scientists, between the graves of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

More than 1,000 people attended a service of thanksgiving in the ancient abbey for the physicist, who died in March at age 76 after decades of living with motor neuron disease. When he was diagnosed, at the age of 22, he was given only a few years to live. Hawking conducted groundbreaking research into black holes and the origins of the universe, and gained global fame as a popularizer and communicator of science.

His book “A Brief History of Time” sold 9 million copies — even if many readers didn’t finish it — and he appeared on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” ”The Big Bang Theory” and “The Simpsons.” “His name will live in the annals of science,” Astronomer Royal Martin Rees said at the memorial service. John Hall, the dean of Westminster, in golden robes, and Jane Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s widow, in blue hat and white dress, watch as Hawking’s daughter, Lucy Hawking, places flowers at the burial site. Ben Stansall / Pool via AFP — Getty Images Hawking’s first wife, Jane, and daughter, Lucy, were among an eclectic crowd that included scientists and schoolchildren; politicians, including British Culture Secretary Matt Hancock and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn; Chic guitarist Nile Rogers; actress Lily Cole; comedian David Walliams; and talk show host Piers Morgan.

Guests also included 1,000 members of the public selected by ballot from 25,000 applicants. A private funeral service was held in March in Cambridge, where Hawking lived and worked for decades. The service included biblical readings by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a BBC drama, and by Lucy Hawking.

Astronaut Tim Peake read from “Queen Mab,” by poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, which evokes the wonders of the universe. Kip Thorne, a Nobel Prize-winning American physicist, paid tribute to “by far the most stubborn friend I ever had.” “He absolutely refused to let his physical disability get in the way of doing great science or get in the way of having great fun,” Thorne said.

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The 900-year-old abbey is the resting place of a pantheon of British historical figures, including kings and queens, political leaders and writers like Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens. Hawking was interred in the abbey’s Scientists’ Corner, beneath a stone inscribed: “Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking” — an English translation of the Latin words on the nearby grave of Newton, the 17th-century scientist who discovered the laws of gravity.

The stone is also inscribed with one of Hawking’s equations describing the entropy of a black hole. After the service, Hawking’s words, set to music by Greek composer Vangelis, were being beamed into space from a European Space Agency satellite dish in Spain.

Is Queen Elizabeth getting buried at Westminster Abbey?

Many monarchs have been buried at Westminster Abbey, including King George VI and Queen Mary. There are around 30 monarchs in all who are buried there. However, Queen Elizabeth II will not be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey because of space restraints. No monarch has been buried there since 1760.

Can you marry in Westminster Abbey?

Weddings at Westminster Abbey – Westminster Abbey Wedding is a truly prestigious and beautiful place, which is why it is so perfect for weddings. However, it is only possible to be married at Westminster Abbey if you are any of the following; A part of The Royal Family, a member of the Order of Bath (or a children of someone in the Order) or anyone who lives within the Abbey’s precincts.

This means that, unfortunately, weddings at the Abbey are off limits to anyone who doesn’t fall into those categories. Westminster Abbey is a truly stunning place, which is why we thought that we would write a short but informative blog about weddings that have taken place at Westminster Abbey, and how they came to take place.

There have been as many as 16 royal weddings at Westminster Abbey, but we thought that we’d focus on the more ‘modern’ weddings, if you will.

Is Westminster Abbey free?

Is it free to visit Westminster Abbey? – Westminster Abbey is a working church and there is never a charge to enter for worship. The services, including Evensong, which is popular with tourists, are also free to attend. Tourist entry prices are: Adults £27, Children £12, Members of the Abbey – free. Find out more about Westminster Abbey Tickets,

Asked By: Fred Roberts Date: created: Apr 21 2023

When was the last time someone was buried at Westminster Abbey

Answered By: Devin Garcia Date: created: Apr 23 2023

The ashes of physicist Stephen Hawking were interred in the abbey on 15 June 2018, near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.

Why are royals not buried in the ground?

Why aren’t royals buried in the ground? – The George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where the Queen will be interred (Image: PA) Royals have been buried in vaults and crypts for hundreds of years. The Queen will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

  • She will join members of her family, with her father, mother and sister interred there already.
  • Her sister, Princess Margaret, took the rare decision to be cremated rather than buried.
  • Prince Philip, the Queen’s late husband, was placed in the Royal Vault in Windsor at his committal service in April 2021.

The former Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will be moved to be with his wife in the memorial chapel following her funeral. Philip’s coffins currently lies on a marble slab in the vault, surrounded by the coffins of Henry VIII and nine other English and British kings, dating back to the internment of Edward IV in 1483.

  • The monarchs and their families in the chapel are not in soil to decompose in the way most people who are buried in cemeteries do.
  • According to a report in The Guardian, it can take 10-15 years for a body to breakdown to a skeleton if buried in soil.
  • Instead, the remains of royals stay in the lead lined coffin, with their decomposition slowed by the heavy material in the coffin and the air-sealed vaults they are held in.


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Asked By: Evan Wilson Date: created: Nov 04 2023

Has Prince Philip been buried yet

Answered By: Ralph Watson Date: created: Nov 05 2023

Where is Prince Philip buried? – Prince Philip passed away on April 9, 2022, at the age of 99, and was buried in the Royal Vault, at St George’s Chapel. St George’s Chapel is located at Windsor Castle, in England, and is a castle chapel built in the late-medieval perpendicular gothic style.

Prince Philip died just weeks away from his milestone 100th birthday, on June 10. Prince Philip and the Queen were married for more than 70 years, and he was the longest-serving consort in British history. After dedicating his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side, he officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

Prince Philip married Queen Elizabeth II on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey. They spent more than seven decades together, tackling the ups and downs of royal life, with the Queen once remarking that Prince Philip had “quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years”.

Asked By: Wyatt Mitchell Date: created: Apr 27 2024

Will the Queen be buried with her husband

Answered By: Aidan Cox Date: created: Apr 29 2024

Where Is Queen Elizabeth Buried? — Queen Elizabeth Burial Details WPA Pool // Getty Images Queen Elizabeth, the longest-serving British monarch,, Today, members of the royal family—including Prince Harry, who is visiting from California—visited the Chapel to pay respects to their beloved matriarch. Following the, there was a committal service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

Later that evening, the Queen was buried with her husband, Prince Philip, alongside her parents and sister in Windsor Castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel in the Royal Vault. The burial and service was entirely private, attended by King Charles and other members of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth’s name has now been inscribed alongside Prince Philip’s and her parents’ on the ledger stone in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

The stone now reads “George VI 1895-1952” and “Elizabeth 1900-2002,” followed by a metal star of the Order of the Garter, and then “Elizabeth II 1926-2022” and “Philip 1921-2021.” All four royals were members of the Order of the Garter. The coffin of George VI, draped with the royal standard being carried by soldiers at his funeral, February 15, 1952. George W. Hales // Getty Images King George VI, who died in 1952, was originally interred in the Royal Vault and then transferred to the newly-constructed chapel on March 26, 1969.

Asked By: Isaac Garcia Date: created: Sep 09 2023

What happens to the Queen’s coffin after Westminster Abbey

Answered By: Brian Lee Date: created: Sep 11 2023

What happens after the funeral? – After the funeral in Westminster, the Queen’s coffin will be transferred to Windsor Castle, where there will be a committal service in St George’s Chapel. She will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel, alongside her father, her mother, and her sister’s ashes.

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Will Prince Philip be buried in Westminster Abbey?

Will the funeral be on TV? – It’s understood that television cameras will be allowed inside the Abbey so that the funeral can be broadcast on live TV. During the funeral, a national two-minute silence will be observed all over the UK as a mark of respect.

  • All senior members of the Royal Family are likely to be in attendance, as well as their children.
  • After the funeral service, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to St George’s Chapel, and a private funeral service for family members will take place.
  • Then, arrangements will be made for the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin to be moved to rest with the Queen.

Sign up for Edinburgh Live newsletters for more headlines straight to your inbox Following a rare announcement on Thursday September 8 that doctors were “concerned” for the Queen’s health, she was placed under medical supervision. Royal Family members rushed to join her at her side, including son King Charles III and grandson Prince William.

  • A statement from the Royal Family announcing the monarch’s death read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
  • The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.” You can find all of the latest information following the death of Her Majesty here,

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Asked By: Julian Edwards Date: created: May 02 2024

Where is Elizabeth the 1st buried

Answered By: Kevin Wood Date: created: May 05 2024

Where is Queen Elizabeth I buried? – Elizabeth I is buried in Westminster Abbey. Her body was first placed in the vault of her grandfather King Henry VII. However in 1606 Elizabeth’s coffin was transferred to the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, and placed beneath a monument to her erected by King James I.

What is the oldest grave in Westminster Abbey?

Royal Tombs – Westminster Abbey is the final resting place of 30 kings and queens. The first king to be buried at Westminster Abbey was Edward the Confessor in the year 1066. Until George II of England in 1760, most Kings and Queens of Englans were buried at this iconic church.

Who was most recently buried at Westminster Abbey?

The ashes of physicist Stephen Hawking were interred in the abbey on 15 June 2018, near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.

Asked By: Stanley Morris Date: created: May 28 2023

What does Isaac Newton’s grave say

Answered By: Reginald Rivera Date: created: May 29 2023

Scientists’ Corner, Westminster Abbey You’ve almost certainly heard of Poets’ Corner, the spot within Westminster Abbey given over to the commemoration of the nation’s authors, poets and playwrights. Amongst dozens of others you’ll find Chaucer’s tomb, plaques to Edward Lear, Wordsworth, D H Lawrence and the Bronte sisters, the graves of Dickens and Browning, a statue of Shakespeare and the bust of Longfellow, windows to the memory of Marlowe, Oscar Wilde and Mrs Gaskell.

  1. But it’s not the only such grouping within the Abbey.
  2. There’s ‘musicians’ aisle’, the ‘statesmen’s aisle’ and, in front of the choir screen that divides the nave, ‘scientists’ corner’.
  3. This is the group of graves and memorials centred on the grave and commemorative statue to Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727), the eminent scientist of the period.

Responsible for advances in mathematics, optics, physics, astronomy; deviser of calculus, laws of motion and gravitational theory, he is one of the towering figures of science. “Hic depositum est, quod mortale fuit Isaaci Newtoni” says the epitaph on the grey marble slab that covers him: “here lies what was mortal of Isaac Newton”.

  1. The English translation is repeated on the nearby memorial stone to Stephen Hawking, a successor to Newton as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University.
  2. Hawking’s ashes were interred in the Abbey in 2018.
  3. Close by is the grave of Charles Darwin, author of “On the Origin of Species”.
  4. His theory of evolution reordered humankind’s position in the natural world, a scientific principle that blew away the notion of a divine creator of humanity and met considerable opposition from the church (the Church of England formally apologised for its initial hostile stance in 2008, 200 years after Darwin’s birth.) Darwin was denied a knighthood in part because of the church’s antipathy, but his work was recognised as so important that he became one of only five non-royal individuals to be buried in the Abbey in the 19th century.

And just by Darwin’s grave is a memorial stone to Howard Florey. It is Alexander Fleming who gets the credit for discovering penicillin, but Florey (and his colleague Ernst Chain) came up with the way of turning this random discovery into a usable drug.

As such his work is responsible for saving the lives of countless millions. (All three shared the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1945.) Around Newton are a collection of memorials to physicists – James Clerk-Maxwell, Michael Faraday, Ernest Rutherford and William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin – but my personal favourite has to be that to Paul Dirac.

He is relatively unknown, but regarded by many as the second most important physicist of the 20th century after Einstein (and who was, Like Newton and Hawking, also Lucasian Professor). Dirac shared the 1933 Nobel Prize for physics, predicted the existence of antimatter, and explored quantum theory. But it’s the stories about Dirac that are so wonderful – that he turned down a knighthood as he didn’t want to be addressed by his students by his first name (he later became a member of the Order of Merit). Or that he was so legendarily taciturn that his colleagues at Cambridge coined a unit of measure called “the dirac” – which meant one word per hour.

Hawking’s memorial and the interment of his ashes shows that the process of commemorating our most important scientists is still ongoing, so we shall see who will be the next to be recognised (and who might be the first woman to be given the honour). To get more posts like this,, Every month (or so) I’ll send you the latest from the site, and some of the most popular bits of the archive.

: Scientists’ Corner, Westminster Abbey

Where is Henry VIII buried?

Where is Henry VIII buried? – Henry VIII’s body rests in a vault under the Quire in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle near his third wife, Jane Seymour. Intriguingly, the sarcophagus that was originally intended to form part of Henry’s final resting place was eventually used for the tomb of Lord Nelson in St Paul’s Cathedral. Henry VIII from the studio of Hans Holbein Discover the rich royal history of the area where Henry VIII built his first tournament ground, Elizabeth I took daily walks in the Park, and where Inigo Jones built the Queen’s House : Where did King Henry VIII live and die?