View of the south front of Westminster Abbey
Engraver: Wild, C
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
Westminster Abbey was founded as a monastic house by Edward the Confessor and consecrated in AD1065. This early association with royalty meant the abbey was showered with gifts of land, and the building was continually renovated by medieval kings (as well as becoming the royal burial place). 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. The cathedral has been repaired many times - including by Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor in the late 17th century.