Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

2 March 2013

Visit Poet's Corner

Found in the South Transept, deep within the walls of Westminster Abbey, Poet's Corner is home to memorials and final resting places of some of Britain's greatest writers, playwrights and poets. The tradition began after Geoffrey Chaucer was buried here in 1400, in recognition of his work as Clerk of Works to the Palace of Westminster, and then in the 16th century, he was given a new more elaborate tomb, and a tradition of memorials and tombs of other writers began.

Literary visitors can find many greats in Poet's Corner, with the graves of Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy and memorials to William Shakespeare, Sir John Betjeman William Wordsworth, Robert Burns, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. It makes a welcome change from countless Kings, Queens and aristocrats. It's just a shame that the £18 entrance fee means that today the Abbey is often more visited by foreign tourists than by Londoners.

For more, see http://www.westminster-abbey.org/visit-us/highlights/poets-corner

^Picture © ah licha! used under a Creative Commons license^


  1. You're back in London-hooray! Thanks, I check it every day from here in Los Angeles..

  2. Thank you. I often show the memorials to students, since it is a very refreshing change from idolising industrialist giants, soccer players and stupid tv stars.

    But the memorial tablets are very close together, so I am assuming that the tombs of these literary giants are in their own home towns (or wherever they were buried). Is that true?

    1. They might have been giants when it came to literature but in reality most authors were very small. In the days when physical labour was the norm, those of diminutive stature had few choices open to them. Plying their trade as a writer was one of the few remunerative options. In actuality the average height of those buried at Poet's Corner is a mere 3' 7"! Hence the small tombs.

    2. I don't think that's quite true, but I like it anyway