December 28, 1065: Westminster Abbey is consecrated.

Construction on Westminster Abbey (or properly, the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster) began during the reign of Edward the Confessor, so called because of his apparent piety. It was built in the Romanesque style, and it was completed twenty-five years after its consecration, although Edward himself was buried there in 1066, and the coronation of his successor William the Conqueror was the first to take place there. In 1245 Henry III sought to expand the building and rebuild it in the Gothic style to rival the great churches at Canterbury, Amiens, and Reims. Work continued until the early-16th century, and a great shrine to (now Saint) Edward was also built during this renovation.

Since 1065 sixteen royal weddings took place at Westminster Abbey. Until 1760 most of England’s kings and queens were also buried at the abbey, along with such luminaries and national icons as Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Rudyard Kipling, and others. Lord Byron’s remains were sent to Westminster Abbey for burial, but he was refused (and the Abbey refused to enact a memorial to him until 1969). Coronations of English and British monarchs are traditionally held in the Abbey as well. 

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