Westminster Abbey gives visitors unique access to ancient coronation spot

The rare Cosmati pavement.(Photo: Westminster Abbey)

Westminster Abbey is giving visitors a unique opportunity to walk across the spot where King Charles III will be crowned on 6 May.

The Cosmati pavement has been the place of coronations for over 700 years and is being opened to the public as part of a special programme of events celebrating the upcoming coronation of the King. 

Normally, the Cosmati pavement can only be viewed from the bottom of the High Altar steps.

The pavement is the best surviving example outside Italy of a rare type of mosaic stonework called 'Cosmati' after the Italian family that invented it. 

It is formed of marble, stone, glass and metal and sits before the High Altar of Westminster Abbey, which dates back to 1268. 

The Abbey said the pavement was "second to none in its detail, intricacy and complexity".

Visitors will be allowed to walk across the medieval flooring in their socks during a new guided tour called "Crown and Church".

The sold-out tour will run after the coronation and tell visitors about the Abbey's royal links as well as coronations past and present. 

Other highlights of the tour include a visit to the Coronation Chair, which will be placed on the Cosmati pavement for the King's coronation. 

Scott Craddock, Head of Visitor Experience said: "The coronation will be a joyous and significant moment for the nation, and for Westminster Abbey.

"We hope that our special programme of events and digital resources gives everyone an opportunity to join in with the celebrations."