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Westminster Abbey

"And so at the king's command the building, nobly begun, was made ready, and there was no weighing of the cost, past or future, as long as it proved worthy of, and acceptable to, God and St. Peter. The house of the principal altar, raised up with most lofty vaulting, is surrounded by dressed stone, evenly jointed. Moreover, the circumference of that temple is enclosed on both sides by a double arch of stones, with the structure of the work strongly consolidated from different directions. Next is the crossing of the church, which is to hold in its midst the choir of God's choristers, and, with its twin abutments from either side, support the high apex of the central tower. It rises simply at first with a low and sturdy vault, swells with many a stair spiralling up in artistic profusion, but then with a plain wall climbs to the wooden roof which is carefully covered with lead. And indeed, methodically arranged above and below, are chapels to be consecrated through their altars to the memory of apostles, martyrs, confessors, and virgins."

Vita Ædwardi Regis

A workman positions a weathercock on the roof of Westminster Abbey, signifying the completion of the new church of St. Peter, which was consecrated on December 28, the hand of God emerging from the heavens in blessing. Named West Minster to signify the church west of London, where there already was St. Paul's cathedral, virtually all the English monarchs would be crowned there, including William only a year later. Closed related to Notre-Dame de Jumièges, which was consecrated the following year, Westminster was larger than any contemporary Norman church.

Edward, himself, who had planned and supervised the work for twenty years in preparation for his burial, was too ill to attend the consecration and died only eight days later, the last of the English kings. Less than two-hundred years later, the church was pulled down and rebuilt by Henry III.

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