June 10, 2023

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Visitors to Westminster Abbey must see the site of Charles' coronation in stockings

Visitors to Westminster Abbey must see the site of Charles’ coronation in stockings

The cosmic floor in Westminster Abbey may only be entered in stockings

NOS News

A unique opportunity for visitors to Westminster Abbey: from May they can look at the place where King Charles is crowned, but only if they take off their shoes. Guests are shown around this part of the abbey in stockings only, in order to better protect the medieval floor.

Normally this part of the church, directly in front of the high altar, is not open to the public. This year, however, the abbey made an exception to celebrate Charles’ coronation, and visitors can admire the site where Charles and his ancestors have been crowned for the past 700 years.

It’s special: “This will be a very special visitor experience. For the first time, we’ll be allowing small groups of people to be at the coronation site,” Scott Craddock, president of visitor experience, told the AP.

layer of carpet

There’s just one problem: the floor in this part of the church is particularly fragile. There is the so-called cosmic floor, which is a rare and precious mosaic consisting of marble, precious stones, glass and metal. It has been there since 1268 and is unique in the UK.

Few people have been able to view this particular work of art. The floor was in such poor condition that carpets were laid over it in 1870. It only reappeared in 2010 after an extensive two-year restoration.

Charles’s coronation will therefore be the first in which the floor can be seen on television. It’s a historic moment, says curator Vanessa Simoni, “For the first time in history, this floor can be seen at a coronation. It’s a unique opportunity: except for the clergy, no one else is allowed here.” Those who wish to enjoy the cosmic grounds can visit Westminster Abbey from May.

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