Traditionally the site of both coronation and burial for Kings and Queens of England, Westminster Abbey was constructed in the Gothic style under Edward the Confessor in the eleventh century.
The Abbey was originally built for Benedictine monks, but was later seized in Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries and only escaped destruction through its ties to the royal family.
In 1658 Oliver Cromwell was given a lavish funeral at the Abbey, only to have his remains removed and hanged three years later.
Other figures in English history, including Darwin, Newton, Kipling, Dickens, Chaucer and Pitt the Younger are also buried at the Abbey alongside most of England's monarchs since 1066.
The Abbey has been seen as a centre of learning, third only to Oxford and Cambridge in importance until as recently as the nineteenth century, and parts of the King James Bible and the New Testament were translated there.