Point of Interest

St Margaret’s Church

England / Europe

Why was there a need for another church so close to Westminster Abbey? Built in the late 11th century, the monks of Westminster were disturbed from completing their daily tasks by the people who came to hear mass. They decided to build a smaller house of God nearby so the local people could attend church and leave the Abbey monks in peace. Dedicated to St. Margaret of Anioch (a popular saint during the middle ages although little is known of her), the church was originally built in the Romanesque style until Edward III replaced the nave with one in the Perpendicular style. With its location so close to the Houses of Parliament, St Margarets is often referred to as ‘the parish church of the House of Commons.’ It is also the resting place of a number of Oliver Cromwells followers, who in the 17th century were moved from their original burial site in Westminster Abbey to St Margarets church. The Cromwell Association erected a memorial to them outside the west door of the church. Since 1928 the Field of Remembrance has been held in the churchyard every November, commemorating those who gave their lives during war. The churchyard is divided in to plots where people can pay their respects by placing a poppy cross in the appropriate plot. Inside the Church, in the south aisle, the stained glass windows contain the arms of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa alongside the royal arms. A symbol of the reigning monarch as Head of the Commonwealth. 

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