London In 1731, By Don Manoel Gonzales


We may rely upon it that about the year 850 there was a church and
convent in the island of - Page 90
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We May Rely Upon It That About The Year 850 There Was A Church And Convent In The Island Of

Thorney, because about that time, London being in the possession of the Danes, the convent was destroyed by them (not

In the year 659, as some writers have affirmed, because the Danes did not invade England till nearly 200 years afterwards). The abbey lay in ruins about a hundred years, when King Edgar, at the instance of Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury (and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), rebuilt this and several other monasteries, about the year 960. Edward the Confessor, a devout prince, enlarged this church and monastery, in which he placed the Benedictine monks, ordered the regalia to be kept by the fathers of the convent, and succeeding kings to be crowned here, as William the Conqueror and several other English monarchs afterwards were, most of them enriching this abbey with large revenues; but King Henry III. ordered the church built by Edward the Confessor to be pulled down, and erected the present magnificent fabric in the room of it, of which he laid the first stone about the year 1245.

That admired piece of architecture at the east end, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built by Henry VII., anno 1502, and from the founder is usually called Henry the VII.'s Chapel. Here most of the English monarchs since that time have been interred.

The dimensions of the abbey-church, according to the new survey, are as follows, viz.:- The length of the church, from the west end of it to the east end of St. Edward's Chapel, is 354 feet; the breadth of the west end, 66 feet; the breadth of the cross aisle, from north to south, 189 feet; the height of the middle roof, 92 feet; the distance from the west end of the church to the choir, 162 feet; and from the west end to the cross aisle, 220 feet; the distance from the east end of St. Edward's Chapel to the west end of Henry VII.'s Chapel, 36 feet; and the length of Henry VII.'s Chapel, 99 feet:

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