Friday, February 22, 2019

Westminster Abbey, Anglophile Friday

I'll have to admit, friends, that it gets confusing, trying to remember which photos of England I've already shown you vs. which have been shown on Instagram. So if you've already seen these (although I did go back through posts to try to avoid redundancy), please forgive me and just ignore these.

But now we're in London, ready to visit Westminster Abbey.  In case I haven't already told you, visiting Westminster Abbey in December was perfect. My ticket stub tells me that we were there at 11 AM on December 12. So keep that in mind. We've been there other times when the abbey was so packed with people that you couldn't fall over if you tried. This time, it was great. We felt like we almost had the place to ourselves (well, not quite) and could visit the chapels without having to rush through or be herded through like an IKEA store.

A couple pages from my journal.

I love it that I was able to get this photo of Sir Winston Churchill with a pigeon on his head. I'm not sure that he would like it, but I thought it was cute. If you stand in front of that statue and turn to your left, you'll see the north doors of Westminster Abbey.

 North doors of Westminster Abbey

Our main purpose in going to Westminster Abbey was to view the Queen's Galleries, newly opened attic of the abbey. Although you can't view just the Galleries without first paying the usual entry fee to the abbey, (the ticket shown was for the additional fee for the QG) that was fine with us because there is so much to see there, so much history, so many people buried in that abbey! Plus, I didn't want to miss the Queen's Galleries.

If you've heard the term 'Royal Peculiar,' did you know it's not referring to the next in line to the throne ;-), but of Westminster Abbey and other places like St. George's Chapel and other chapels in the Tower of London?

"A Royal Peculiar is a church that belongs directly to the monarch and not to any diocese, and does not come under the jurisdiction of a bishop. The concept originated in Anglo-Saxon times and developed as a result of the relationship between the Norman and Plantagenet Kings and the English Church. Henry VIII retained Royal Peculiars following the Reformation; the Ecclesiastical Licences Act of 1533, as confirmed by the Act of Supremacy of 1559, transferred to the Sovereign the jurisdiction which had previously been exercised by the Pope." - from

Of course the Abbey has a souvenir shop.

To the left of the Westminster Abbey Shop are the west doors, through which Kate Middleton and Prince William entered on their wedding day. Do you remember that day? April 29, 2011. That's almost  eight years ago! Did you watch the wedding?

You're seeing lots of photos of the exterior of Westminster Abbey because, of course, no photography is allowed in the interior. I wish I could show you photos not only of the abbey (check online), but also the Queen's Galleries, that contains many items of cultural, architectural, and historical significance - including so many artifacts of the abbey and clothing worn by various members of royalty. It was absolutely fascinating! 

When I had asked a member of the staff, a Roger Allam look-alike (Endeavour, a British mystery we love) how to get to the Queen's Galleries, he responded, 'With a good bit of nerve.' It's many steps to the 'attic.' We took the lift up and walked down. We were both eager to get up there.

Door to the Pyx Chamber in Westminster Abbey.  

This chamber was used as a treasury for both the monastery and for the British crown. It's just around the corner from the oldest door in Britain. I can't believe that neither Mr. C. nor I got a photo of that door. How did we miss it?? We must have each thought the other was taking that photo. OR, it was so dark in there that we didn't attempt to get the photo. Not sure. But anyway, there's an interesting legend grown around the topic of that oldest door (including human hide), which you can find at the BBC News website.

Here in the cloisters, they were just starting to string lights on the many waiting Christmas trees. It seemed a bit late to me, but then remembering that Christmas Day is actually only the first day of Christmas, it made more sense. We tend to think Christmas is all over on December 26 and take down the tree and all the decorations (well, some do. Our front porch Christmas tree is still up and its lights shining brightly), when Christmas is actually just beginning! (Remember The Twelve Days of Christmas? They begin on Christmas Day.)

Yes, I took a lot of photos, but we had a nice, sunny day in which to attempt good exterior shots.

We had a great lunch in the Cellarium Cafe. I don't remember what Mr. C's was, but mine was a delicious salad of spinach, roasted sweet potato and cauliflower, and pumpkin seeds. I'm sure we washed down that healthful lunch with a Cadbury bar or some Malteasers, just to balance things out.

I apologize to the staffer whose face is shown in this photo. I usually try to clone out faces, but when I got done cloning, it looked like a bowling ball on top of a jacket.

I wasn't kidding about our Christmas tree.
Photo taken yesterday as it was snowing.

Hopefully, there will be many more Anglophile Friday posts, and hopefully you won't mind coming along on our reminiscences.

Thanks, everyone!

Happy Anglophile Friday. :-)


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Have a great weekend, everyone!
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The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh Judy, thank you for the wonderful information about Westminster Abbey and the Royal Peculiar facts as well. Very interesting! I enjoyed this post very much as we hope to visit there soon. You had a lovely day for outdoor photos. Your journal pages look wonderful with your pretty photos.
Our snow has melted and we're headed out for a walk soon. Hopefully your's will be gone soon as well. I do love the tree on the porch. Enjoy your day. ♥

Marcia said...

My best memory of Westminster Abbey is attending Evensong and sitting in the quire. I had goose pimples when the boys choir started singing to process in.

MadSnapper said...

I would leave the tree on the porch until spring, it fits perfectly in your view.. so many beautiful things on your trip, you could fill a lot of journals. I have watched all televised royal wedding and my hubby just can't understand why, I spent a whole day watching Diana's wedding many years ago... England is fascinating and beautiful and oh so different than here. on Americas got talent, Susan Boyle from Britians Got Talent was on and she said everything here is so different. as for Peculiar churches, have never heard the word. interesting. I did giggle thinking that a lot of our churches here are 'peculiar' to me.

eileeninmd said...


I did watch all the royal weddings. I enjoyed your tour of the Westminster Abbey. Your journal and photos are lovely, a wonderful way to remember your England trip. Thanks for the visit and comment. Enjoy your day and weekend.

Michelle said...

I love seeing all of these. We are headed to London in a few weeks. I can't wait!

Robin said...

Beautiful pictures!!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Always love coming along for your Anglophile Fridays! Great photos. The history of the oldest door was very interesting. They didn't tell us why there was hide on the door?

Terri D said...

I always enjoy your photos from England and never tire of them. I don't even mind seeing some again (if that ever happens!). That snow... oh my!!

Cranberry Morning said...

Heide, check this out from the website: "In the 19th century it was noticed that there were fragments of hide adhering to the door, and a legend grew up suggesting that these were human. It was supposed that somebody in the Middle Ages had been caught committing sacrilege in the Abbey, had been flayed and his skin nailed to the door as a deterrent to other would-be felons. A specific link was suggested to a robbery that is known to have taken place in the adjoining treasury, in 1303."

Cranberry Morning said...

Let it be a lesson. (Yikes!)

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
I enjoy each and every England post. :-) Thank you!

I listened to another Bishop Barron today. :-)

L. D. said...

Your are giving us a real personal tour with all the photos and the knowledge of each place. It is a beautiful place to visit with all its wonderful architecture.


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