Westminster Abbey is perhaps the UK's most famous Gothic cathedral, with instantly-recognizable interior views like this:
One area of the church, however, may not look so familiar. The triforium, a walled interior space located 52 feet above the cathedral floor, was closed off to the public for some 700 years. The Abbey's administrators used it for storage, and for seven centuries the space was unseen by the masses.
Recently, however, the decision was made to repurpose the triforium as a gallery, open to the public. Two years ago the space was rechristened the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, hosting a rotation of 300 historical artifacts.
Providing physical access was initially an issue. Westminster Abbey's construction began over 1,000 years ago, and because wheelchair access was not a design consideration in the year 960, in 2018 a modern exterior tower was constructed to house an elevator and stairs that the public could use to access the triforium. Designed by Ptolemy Dean Architects and fabricated by contractors McNealy Brown, the Weston Tower was the first structural element added to the building in 300 years.
And while Westminster Abbey was around for the Bubonic Plague back in the 14th century, it is of course currently closed on account of the current COVID pandemic. Once it, and London, opens back up, add the hidden gem of the triforium to your sightseeing bucket list.
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