Statues and historical items are removed from Westminster Abbey

Packed up to preserve for another generation: Statues and historical items are removed from Westminster Abbey as work begins to transform 13th Century Triforium into public gallery

But restoration work has now begun to transform the 13th century triforium into a new public viewing and gallery area in central London.

The £19million space will exhibit many historical objects from the church and give visitors impressive views down over its buildings.

These plaster statues and other items are pictured being stored in the triforium awaiting removal, with the work due to be completed in 2018.

The medieval space 70ft above Westminster Abbey will be accessible from a new stair and lift tower at the east end of the church.

This will be the abbey’s most significant addition since 1745, providing entry to what will be called The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries.

Royal funeral effigies, silverware, manuscripts, stonework and vestments are among the objects expected to be on show.

The abbey, which has been the setting for every coronation since 1066, has also held 16 royal weddings – including the Cambridges’ in 2011.

It holds the largest collection of figure sculpture from early Tudor England, with 96 of the original 107 from the 16th century still remaining.

Ready to go: Plaster statues and other items of historical interest are stored in the triforium awaiting removal at Westminster Abbey in London

Man and child: Restoration work is currently underway to transform part of the 13th-century triforium into a new viewing and gallery area

Wrapped up: The new £19million space in central London will exhibit many historical objects from Wesminster Abbey

Catalogued: For centuries it has been a storage area in Westminster Abbey for a growing collection of statues, furniture and memorials

Window viewing: The work on the area to be called The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries is due to be completed by 2018

Storaged: These plaster statues and other items are pictured in the abbey's triforium awaiting removal, with the work to be completed by 2018

Taking care: Conservators deep clean the abbey's triforium today, with three years of work ahead before the area is opened to the public

Up high: The medieval space 70ft above Westminster Abbey will be accessible from a new stair and lift tower at the east end of the church

Cleaning project: A conservator wears a face mask as he carefully vacuums around the triforium at Westminster Abbey

Stained glass: Royal funeral effigies, manuscripts, silverware, stonework and vestments are among the objects expected to be on show

Conservation: The tower will be the abbey’s most significant addition since 1745, providing entry to  The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries

Stunning scene: The view from the triforium - which will be open to the public in 2018 - of the Great West Door at Westminster Abbey

Awaiting removal: The exhibition designed by McInnes Usher McKnight Architects will look at the abbey's thousand-year history

Pricey: The cost of the new tower and galleries is £19million - some £11 million of which has already been generated though fundraising efforts

Future plans: The Dean of Westminster said the project was 'the most exciting development of the abbey building for over 250 years'

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