London – August 9, 2012 – By Lancelot

We walk to Wimbledon station again and take the train to Victoria and then to Westminster Abbey.

As soon as we arrive we walk over to Westminster Abby and buy tickets to go inside.

In  970 Saint Dunstan, assisted by King Edgar, started a community of Benedictine monks here. Westminster Abby was originally Catholic and called St. Peter’s Abbey, until the pope refused to give king Henry VIII a divorce  and then Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church and St. Peter’s Abby an Anglican Church.  The Abbey fell into disrepair, and  Edward the Confessor started rebuilding Westminster Abbey so he could have a special burial site for himself and his family.  He died in 1066, 9 years later his wife Edith died and was buried next to him.  Since then most of the nation’s kings and queens are crowned here and buried here.  Westminster is also burial a place to many monarchs, poets, politicians, musicians, and war heroes.

While exploring the Abbey we saw amazing sculptures and tombs including the tomb  Edward the Confessor, the tomb of Queen Elizabeth I, the tomb of Mary I, and the chapel of King Henry Vll, the Royal Air Force Chapel, and tomb of Mary Queen of Scots.   We decided this Abbey is defiantly one of the most amazing Abbeys we have been to.

After that we buy tickets for a tour of the house of parliament. The parliament was once the residence of the kings and queens of England.  The first official Parliament of England, met in the Palace in 1295. On October 16, 1834, a fire broke out in the palace after an overheated stove, used to destroy the Exchequer stockpile of tally sticks, set fire to the House of Lords Chamber.  As a result both Houses of Parliament burned down along with most of the other buildings in the palace.

Westminster Hall was one of the only parts of the palace that survived thanks to fierce fire fighters and a change of the wind.  Now Westminster is the oldest existing part of the old palace. The official house of parliament was rebuilt and in 1837. Buckingham Palace became the official  royal residence by Queen Victoria.  The new parliament  was officially complete in 1870 .

Once a year the  Queen comes to the Palace of Westminster and enters through Sovereign’s Entrance under the Victoria Tower.  She goes into the Robing Chamber and puts on her Parliament Robe of State and Imperial State Crown.   Then the Queen goes through the Royal Gallery to the House of Lords to sit on her royal throne.  Once the Queen sits on the royal throne, she instructs the House by saying, “My Lords, pray be seated.”   The Lord Great Chamberlain then raises his wand and signals  to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.   Then the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod walks over to the to the Chamber of the Commons.  At the Chamber of Commons, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod slams the door three times as hard as he can.   The door opens and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod says, “Mr Speaker, The Queen commands this honourable House to attend Her Majesty immediately in the House of Peers.”   Black  Rod, then leads the Members of the House of Commons to the Bar of the House of Lords  where they bow to The Queen.  They remain at the Bar for the Queens speech.  Usually the Queen says,  “My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.”  And then the parliament starts and the queen leaves.  During the tour of the parliament we saw the  Royal Gallery , Queens Robing Room,  the Lords chamber, commons chamber, and Central Lobby (then  the Members’ Lobby).

After that we get the train from Westminster to Victoria then we walk to Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live at Buckingham Palace.  She moved in 1837 and ever since all the Kings and Queens have lived at Buckingham.

After our tour of Buckingham, we get the train from High Park to St Paul’s Cathedral.  Old St Paul’s Cathedral was completed in 1314.  It was to be the longest church in the world and have one of the worlds longest spires.  By the 16th century the building was getting worn down because of Henry VIII and Edward VI.   The Dissolution of the Monasteries and Chantries Acts led to the destruction of the interior ornamentation, the cloisters, charnels, crypts, chapels, shrines, chantries and other buildings in the churchyard.  The Crown  took the belongings inside the church and sold them in shops.

On 4 June 1561, lightning struck the spire and cause a fire that resulted in the spire  crashing through the nave  roof.  The fire was  so hot that the cathedral’s bells melted and  poured down like lava upon the roof  and destroyed it . The Protestants and Catholics felt God was angry.  Queen Elizabeth gave some money toward the cost of repairs and then Bishop of London, Edmund Grindal, gave £1200.  The spire was never rebuilt.

Fifty years later the building was still in bad shape so King James I put England’s first classical architect, Inigo Jones in charge of restoring the church. Inigo Jones suggested that the whole church be torn down and rebuilt with a new gothic design.  The  clergy and citizens refused to do such a thing.  But on 1666 a great fire broke out in London,  the church caught fire and  burned to rubble.  Inigo Jones then continued with his plan and rebuilt the church in a new gothic style.   The church was officially complete on December 25 1711.

St. Paul's

St. Paul’s

St. Paul's

St. Paul’s

After our tour of the church, we walk over to the city of London’s financial capital.  This area has over 500 banks have offices in the City, and the district is an established leader in trading in Eurobonds, foreign exchange, energy futures and global insurance.  Most of the buildings in the financial district don’t have windows down on street level because that part of the building is full of gold $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Financial District

Financial District

Financial District

Financial District

Financial District

Financial District

After that we walk to dinner at Sea Fresh and get some good old traditional fish and chips all really good.  We ordered 2 cods and 2 trouts.   It was delicious way to end the day In London.

Dinner

Dinner

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