Time Team

Season 17 Episode 0

TT Special 44 Westminster Abbey, London

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Aired Sunday 5:45 PM Jun 28, 2010 on Channel 4
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TT Special 44 Westminster Abbey, London
AIRED:

The Secrets Of Westminster Abbey

Tony and the Team go behind the scenes at Westminster Abbey to explore the story of the Cosmati pavement: the mosaic floor being uncovered for the first time in 100 years. Also known as 'The House of Kings', Westminster Abbey has stood at the heart of the nation for nearly 1,000 years, surviving the Civil War and Reformation. While visitors marvel at the royal paraphernalia and the majesty of the architecture, it remains at the core of the Establishment, and still plays host to the Coronation. For a century, the Cosmati pavement - a huge, mystical mosaic floor in front of the altar at the centre of which the Coronation Chair is placed - has been covered by carpet. Now Time Team cameras are allowed unprecedented access behind the scenes at the Abbey as this extraordinary piece of living history is revealed. As well as exploring the story of the Cosmati pavement, the Team also have access to a night-time search under the floors for lost tombs and graves, a shrine that still attracts pilgrims after 800 years and the 1,000-year-old faked documents that gave the Abbey the right to host the Coronation in the first place.

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