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West Exterior

West Exterior

Photographer: Harrington, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1869

Shelfmark: J/10350.h.10

Item number: 1

Length: 17.2

Width: 11.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

"The West Front is, doubtless, the least striking of the Abbey Views, owing to the sense of incongruity imported into the idea by the towers - designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and completed in 1735 - which are but little in accordance with the older features of the Abbey. Viewed from the distance, however, where the faulty details are lost in the general effect, they form a not wholly unattractive feature; their height - 225 feet - telling nobly, and making them a familiar beacon on all sides, but especially on the South and West of the Metropolis. The great West Window was the work of Abbot Estney, in 1498."

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'

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