The church of St Margaret, Westminster

On this day, Palm Sunday, in 1614, the House of Commons assembled in the church of St Margaret, Westminster, to take Holy Communion together for the first time.

The church was probably originally  built in the late eleventh century, and subsequently rebuilt in the fourteenth and again in the late fifteenth to early sixteenth, between 1482-1523, although it has also been much modified subsequently.   It became the unofficial “parish” church of the House of Commons after  1614 (see above).   In 1647, under the Puritans, the wardens were fined for celebrating Christmas!

Among those buried here are William Caxton, whose printing press was nearby, at the sign of the “Red Pale”, in  1491/2; Walter Ralegh, in 1618; John Pym, in 1643; and Wenceslaus Hollar, in 1677.  And among those married here, Samuel  Pepys, in 1655; and John Milton, in 1656 – not to mention Winston Churchill, in 1908!  Sadly, photography is not permitted in the interior of the church, and I have been unable to find any images of it that I can share without infringing copyright.

The church  is visited, although not entered,  on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London” and “Tudor and Stuart London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available via the “Our Guided Walks” section of the web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

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