Abbey has been the site of a monastery since the 8th century
but it was the Anglo-Saxon monarch Edward
the Confessor who rebuilt it into the Abbey that is the
basis of the structure today.
Edward's death in 1066 he became the first of a long line of
to be buried there, a tradition that continued into the 19th
century when it was superceded by St George's Chapel at Windsor
Castle. The spouse of the ruling monarch, or royal
consort, was often buried in the Abbey alongside them.
tradition which has continued up until the present day, began
the Conqueror, who on Christmas Day 1066 became the first
monarch to be crowned at the Abbey.
Many famous people have also been buried in the Abbey. In 1400
the poet Geoffrey
was buried there since when that part of the Abbey is known
as Poet's Corner. The
following is a selection of some of the famous people who have
been buried in the Abbey.
Oliver Cromwell's body was disinterred
after the Restoration of the monarchy with Charles II in 1660. Cromwell's
body was hanged at Tyburn, decapitated and reburied at an unknown
location. The head is buried near the chapel of Sidney
Sussex College in Cambridge where he had studied from 1616-17.
Since 1906 only ashes are allowed to be interred in the Abbey.
Hardy's heart is buried in the churchyard at Stinsford in Dorset.