Westminster Abbey: A King’s Dream, A Nation’s Icon
By Manami York (Pennsylvania State University)
Columbia Undergraduate Journal of History – Published Online (2009)
Introduction: It is in the heart and soul of every person to build something to live after them. Those groups of people that form the world’s nations are no different. They desire to build the monument to represent all they stand for and to show to the world their greatness. Foundations, walls, decorations, and design flounders without a preponderance of spirit to soar far above the moorings and as in religious structures, to show God what man can accomplish. Within the heart of London resides the presence of the contemporary British monarchy that only echoes that of England’s prime, its medieval era. Within this period, such things like the Tower of London, the War of the Roses, and the many wives of Henry VIII come to the minds of those who know the basics of England’s past, but there is one aspect of this time that most everyone has heard of around the world; Westminster Abbey. Being a church with a decadent history of both art and monarchy, it is one of the most important and well known structures that exist in Europe. Resplendent as the Abbey appears today, one needs to understand its humble beginnings and development during the Middle Ages within the historical context of its time in order to have a true sense of its grandeur and impact on the nation of England.