Thursday, April 28, 2011

St. Nicholas Churches Around the World - Westminster Abbey - The Chapel of St. Nicholas

The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster
"Westminster Abbey"
The Chapel of St. Nicholas
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
A Procession of the Knights of Bath
Artist: Canaletto (1749)
Now, one might ask, what does Westminster Abbey - so greatly in the news these days because of the marriage of Prince William - have to do with churches dedicated to Nicholas of Myra?
Well, until I received the following comment from Ray at Troutbider, I would have answered, "I really don't know."

"So I'm in the middle of Margaret George's wonderful new piece of historical fiction.... Elizabeth I. She (the Queen) is in the midst of another great crises and moving slowly thru Westminster she reflects on the family chapels there, comes to St. Nicholas chapel and..... my thoughts [Ray's]are immediately transfered here [St. Nicholas blog!], wondering if you've posted of it. :)"
Thanks to Ray I now know that Westminster Abbey possesses a chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas!
The Chapel of St. Nicholas - Westminster Abbey
Image courtesy: Pitts Theology Library
There are many chapels located within the abbey dedicated to various Christians with Nicholas of Myra being just one of them. This chapel is located on the south side, at the east end of this magnificent and historic Gothic edifice. It is just across from St. Paul's chapel and just after the Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor - the monk-king who was the first to start building this abbey in 1055 as a Benedictine Monastery. (Although an earlier Saxon church is to have occupied the site - founded by the Bishop of London, Mellitus, who died in 624. A fisherman was said to have seen a vision of St. Peter here... hence it's actual name!)
Floor plan of Westminster Abbey
Image courtesy: Wikipeda 
Author: ABBY1.jpg: Mavin_101
It is currently 511 feet long and 203 feet across the transepts.
The Chapel of St. Nicholas is located in the cross part - across the center aisle.
(In the curve straight up from the "m" in "image.") 
So, in a round about way, by having this chapel dedicated to Nicholas of Myra in this historic building, St. Nicholas has played a role in much of British history. Not only are many people of note buried in this building but it is, among many other things, the site of the writing of part of the King James Bible, the coronation of British monarchs since 1066, and of course, the site of numerous weddings.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip on their Wedding Day
November 20, 1947
Leaving Westminster Abbey
Image courtesy: Washington Post
Author: Sarah Anne Hughes
And... a little over a week ago, this photo was taken outside of the Abbey.
April 21, 2011
Image courtesy: Washington Post
Author: Sarah Anne Hughes
The occasion? The lovely and gracious Queen Elizabeth II's 85th birthday and Royal Maundy Service (the Thursday before Easter) at the Abbey.
Here's to wishing the latest couple to be wed within this historic building - and within site of the Chapel of St. Nicholas - a marriage and life as successful as that of the grooms famous grandparents!

And many many thanks to Ray for telling me about the St. Nicholas Chapel! By the by, Ray has two fabulous blogs, troutbirder  and troutbirder II- he is an extremely talented writer - and is blessed to have one of the most beautiful German Shepherds - named Baron - sharing his interesting life with him!


Ola said...

They are so young on the wedding picture!

Angela said...

This is fascinating news! Thanks for sharing THIS St N chapel with us at such an auspiciousmoment in our history!!
blessings xx

Thisisme. said...

Lovely topical post today Ann! I certainly didn't know that there was a St Nicholas Chapel at Westminster Abbey. Very interesting! Let's hope that the sun shines on the Abbey tomorrow!

Pat said...

Very topical and historical! Great post :) xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Annn dearest! What lovely pictures you have ALWAYS! What a perfect connection for this week's HIGHLIGHT! How is Sir Edward doing these days? FINE I HOPE!!!! Anita

troutbirder said...

Oh my! I'm a little embarrased at your so very kind comments. Thanks Ann. :)
Yes... I will be watching the wedding tonight courtesy of my spouse's enthusiasm. It doesn't really start at 2 a.m. does it?????

Out on the prairie said...

I never knew there were so many chapels here.I go to one Westminister church for music a lot,but they are Presbeterian.

imac said...

Well fancy, Neat post my friend.
Seen Westminster from the outside several times, but never made it inside.

Sara Bentley @ Purses Pastries Etc... said...

Amazing! I had no idea of all this... isn't it amazing how so many things are interconnected? So glad you published this today... it will make viewing the "Wedding of the Century" (as the media calls it) even more fun :)
p.s. Baron the German Shepherd is indeed very handsome and cuddly:)

Theresa said...

Thank you dear Ann for your sweet comment:) I love reading about about this famous Queen and seeing her then and now!

Have a blessed day, HUGS!

Erna said...

Thanks again Ann for another interesting post.......
I love the weddingpicture

PEA said...

Isn't it wonderful to learn of so many new things through this blogging world of ours:-) It was so interesting to find out that there is a St. Nicholas chapel within Westminster Abbey and no doubt you were thrilled to learn of that as well! hehe The Queen looks so good for her age and it's really hard to believe that she is 85 years old. I wish the latest couple to be married at Westminster Abbey the very best...although as you saw by my post today, it should be ME! lol xoxo

A BRIT GREEK said...

Hey Ann!

Hope all is well with you. This is a very timely/brilliant post, you'll probably be able to catch the wedding live right now - showing inside the Abbey too!


Duni said...

Westminster Abbey is magnificent and I was delighted to hear about the chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas! When we last visited London we only got to see a bit, there was no time, but next time I'd like to explore it more thoroughly. It's huge.

Madi and Mom said...

Ms. Ann,
Oh my cats Mom just finished watching the first 3 hours of the Royal Wedding in Westminster Abbey.
What an absolutely beautiful chruch. The wedding is surely blessed to have been conducted in this Abbey,
Madi and Mom

Ricardo Miñana said...

Es un placer pasar por tu blog,
si te gusta la poesía te invito al mio,
que tengas un feliz fin de semana.

BeadedTail said...

So interesting and such a beautiful church! It's certainly fitting for a royal wedding!

Dorothy said...

Isn't that something!! Very interesting post Ann. We learn something new every day. I'm thinking of Edward and hoping he is well. Have a wonderful weekend.

NCmountainwoman said...

Interesting post. I loved knowing more about it.

Krystal said...

Ohhh I heart seeing this especially after admiring it during the wedding!!! Thanks for your sweet note and the welcome back, that whole blog missing thing was SO weird!!

Lois Evensen said...

What wonderful and timely pictures. Wasn't that a wonderful wedding this week. So beautiful!

I'm so glad to be in a US port today where I can get a connection with enough band width to visit your blog! :))


Zuzana said...

Hello dear friend, I am back online.;)
What an interesting piece of information, I learn so much about churches just by visiting your lovely blog.;) Hope all is well with you.;)

GrandmaK said...

I remember visiting the chapel when we were there in 2005. We were in London just before Christmas. We also visited St. Nicholas Church ( North Walsham, England. It is lovely and in the center of town. Our daughter and family lived there for a year while here DH was working on a project for his company. We had a grand time! Wishing you well! Cathy

koralee said...

Thank you for visiting me the other day...I love your blog..I have learned so much.

hugs for a great week.

The Royal family facinates me to bits. xoxoxo

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

How brilliant that you managed to get Westminster Abbey into a post - a great church with some great history. Love from London xo

SunnyToast said...

informative post! pictures are amazing:)