Crown & Cloister

The Royal Story of Westminster Abbey

James Wilkinson, C.S. Knighton

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 628 1

    Size: 250 x 210 mm / 8.25 x 10 in.

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 88

    In association with:

    Date published: March, 2010

    UK £9.95 /US $14.95


  • Lavish portrayal of the close relationship between the royal household and Westminster Abbey through the ages
  • Sumptuous reproductions of the Abbey’s architecture and art treasures, and stunning royal portraits


Fifteen kings and fourteen queens are buried in Westminster Abbey, which is also the nation’s coronation church – every coronation since that of William the Conqueror has taken place in the Abbey. The close relationship between ‘Crown and Cloister’ was forged when King Edward the Confessor built the first great church on this site (completed in 1065). Today, The Queen and her family come to the Abbey regularly, whether to celebrate or to mourn. Westminster Abbey has adapted well to the changing currents of history. It survived the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, and Henry made it briefly a cathedral. His daughter Mary I restored the monastery in 1556, but in 1560 Elizabeth I re-founded it as a church, and since then the Abbey has been directly answerable to the sovereign. With sumptuous photography of the abbey’s architecture and art treasures, and stunning royal portraits from across the centuries, this book celebrates the enduring ties between ‘Crown and Cloister’.

Author information

James Wilkinson was the BBC’s science correspondent for 25 years, and is now one of Westminster Abbey’s honorary stewards. His previous publications are on scientific subjects and the history of the abbey. C.S. Knighton has worked for the Public Record Office as an editor of State Papers, contributed to works on naval history, and also edited the Chapter Acts of Westminster Abbey from 1543 until 1609.