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An illustration of Dean's Yard at Westminster Abbey, from the book 'London: a Pilgrimage' by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. This open space is a survival of the original grounds of the Benedictine monastery. An abbey had first been built on the site by Edward the Confessor but was later rebuilt by Henry III, before succumbing to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540. Elizabeth I reconstituted the abbey as a Collegiate church and in 1560 it acquired its official title of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster.
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