Westminster Abbey Chapter House and Pyx Chamber
Westminster Abbey Chapter House and Pyx Chamber
The chapter house of Westminster Abbey was built in 1250 to serve as a gathering place for the Benedictine monks who oversaw the running of the abbey and its church. The monks would meet here daily to go over all the myriad of administrative details necessary to run such a large and important monastic establishment.
The Chapter House was later used as a meeting place for the King's Great Council and the Commons, forerunners of the modern Parliament.

The Chapter House is a lovely example of Gothic style, with a high, vaulted ceiling supported on a slender central pillar. The chamber is ornam,ented with wonderful medieval sculpture and extremely well-preserved wall paintings. The floor is largely original, built of brightly coloured glazed tiles. Outside the Chapter House are the abbey cloisters, a lovely open space where the monks of Westminster would take their exercise.

A much earlier chamber than the Chapter House is the Pyx Chamber, which dates to the 11th century. This chamber was used as a treasury for both the monastery and for the British crown. Though many of the fittings were removed during the Reformation, a 13th century stone altar remains, as do the medieval tiles on the floor.

Note: We've given the Chapter House and Pyx Chamber a separate attraction entry as they can be accessed separately from Westminster Abbey. Unlike the abbey, they are administered by English Heritage, and a separate entry fee is payable for non-English Heritage members.

Also note that the Chapter House may be closed at short notice for State and Religious occasions.