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For centuries it has been a storage area for a growing collection of statues, furniture and memorials. But work is now underway to transform the 13th century Triforium in Westminster Abbey into a new public viewing and gallery in central London.
Photographs taken today show specialist removal workers using a winch to carefully lower artefacts from the medieval space - which runs 70 feet above the floor of the Abbey - ahead of renovations inside.
Once completed, the £19million space will exhibit a number of historical objects from the church - including royal funeral effigies, silverware and stonework - and give visitors impressive views down over its buildings.
The new gallery, which is due to open in 2018, 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.
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.