South Front, From Cloister Roof, Looking East
Photographer: Harrington, John
Medium: Photographic print
"This is a truly interesting View of the Abbey, and gives a very perfect idea of the building as it existed when, in reality as well as in name, a Monastic pile. The utter silence that reigns in the cloisters - contrasting vividly with the noise and turmoil of London life, which ceaselessly ebb and flow on the opposite side, rendering a strong effort of the imagination necessary to realise that you are in the heart of a vast city - enable you to conjure up the scene as it existed under the rule of one of the old Abbots who lie beneath the pavement at your feet."
Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor and was consecrated in AD1065. It was rebuilt in the 13th century in the French gothic style, with a nave of great height, flying buttresses and rose windows. The monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540 and the abbey became the cathedral of the new diocese of Westminster.
Descriptive letterpress by John Harrington of Brighton from the book 'The Abbey and Palace of Westminster'