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Royal palace, abbey and town of Westminster on Thorney Island (Paperback)

Archaeological Excavations (1991-8) for the London Underground Limited Jubilee Line Extension Project

P&S History > Archaeology > British Archaeology P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval Archaeology

Imprint: MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology)
Series: MoLAS Monograph
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 144 mainly col illus, 56 tabs
ISBN: 9781901992502
Published: 29th March 2006
Casemate UK Academic


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The Palace and Abbey of Westminster provide one of the most familiar images in the world. From its beginnings on an island surrounded by the Rivers Thames and Tyburn more than 7000 years ago, the site became the most important centre of English history from the 11th century onwards. The palace, which started as one of many royal residences, became the principal home of the English monarchs until it was damaged by fire during the reign of Henry VIII. The former royal chapel of St Stephen became the home of the House of Commons and the palace, with the rise in the power of Parliament in the mid 17th century, once again took centre stage in English history. The abbey, one of the richest and most important monastic establishments in England, was also a royal church, home to the coronations of all English monarchs since Edward the Confessor and mausoleum to many of Englands royal houses. This book publishes the archaeological work undertaken for the Jubilee Line Extension Project in the 1990s and a series of other archaeological investigations in and around the Palace of Westminster. It starts with the origins of the settlement on Thorney Island over 7000 years ago and discusses the evidence from the later prehistoric, Roman and Saxon periods before describing the development of the palace up to the fire of 1834. Important aspects of this work are the understanding of the varying environmental conditions around the island and the integration of antiquarian observations to provide an up-to-date synthesis of our current knowledge.

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