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See Westminster Abbey, one of the most historic venues in the world, for things to do in London

Published: Monday 22nd of October 2012

Last year Westminster Abbey was the focus of international attention as Prince William wed Kate Middleton in a spectacular ceremony that captured the heart of the world, and people looking for things to do in London can explore this historic venue.

The Abbey has more than around 1,000 years of history, with Benedictine monks first coming to the site in the middle of the tenth century.

What's more it has substantial royal links, being the coronation church since 1066 when William the Conqueror defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

However, this landmark service did not run smoothly.

It was attended by both Normans and Saxons, meaning there was a mixture of the French and English-speaking among the congregation.

As the congregation made their approval of the coronation heard in both languages, the Norman soldiers, whose job it was to keep order outside, thought the noise from within the abbey was an assassination attempt and began setting fire to the houses in the surrounding area.

Smoke began filling the church, the congregation ran away and riots broke out outside. However, desperate to be King, William and the clergy completed the service despite the chaos.

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Posted by Samantha Reed

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