Westminster Abbey’s (discreet) new tower

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This is an artist’s impression of the new tower Westminster Abbey will acquire with its first museum, due to open in 2018.

The painting, by Alexander Cresswell, shows the new structure blending in with the medieval architecture, in the centre of the image shielded by a flying buttress.

The tower, designed by Ptolemy Dean architects, takes its inspiration from a star pattern often found in the abbey – on the 13th century Westminster Retable, for instance, England’s oldest altarpiece.

Today the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone for the new tower, which will take visitors into the museum being built in the church’s triforium, high above the nave. The tower will have a lift and stajrcase, set discreetly outside Poets’ Corner between the Chapter House and Henry VII’s Lady Chapel.

The cost of the project is £23m, of which the abbey has realised £18m from private donors and trusts. Today it launched a public appeal for the rest of the money.



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