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Poets' Corner

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Poets corner
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Poets corner

Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey due to the number of poets, playwrights and writers now buried and commemorated there.

The first person to be interred there was Geoffrey Chaucer, whose burial in the abbey owed more to his position as Clerk of Works of the Palace of Westminster than to his fame as a writer. However, the erection of a magnificent tomb by Nicholas Brigham to Chaucer in the middle of the sixteenth century and the nearby burial of Edmund Spenser in 1599 started a tradition that is still upheld, although the area also houses the tombs of several Canons and Deans of the abbey. Also buried here is Thomas Parr, who reportedly died at the age of 152 in 1635 after having seen ten sovereigns on the throne.

Burial or commemoration in the Abbey did not always occur at or soon after the time of death. Lord Byron, for example, whose poetry was admired but maintained a scandalous lifesytle, died in 1824 but was not given a memorial until 1969. Even William Shakespeare, buried at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1616, was not honored with a monument until 1740 when one designed by William Kent was constructed in Poets' Corner.

People buried in Poets' Corner

People commemorated with memorials in Poets' Corner

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