Oliver Cromwell's grave comes back to life for summer at Westminster Abbey

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For a few weeks only, visitors to Westminster Abbey can gaze on the second-last resting place of Oliver Cromwell, the grave which the Lord Protector occupied for less than three years before being dug up, ritually executed, decapitated, and buried again in quicklime at the foot of the gallows.

The stone slabs engraved in the 19th century with the name of Cromwell and his relatives are usually covered by a blue carpet bearing the RAF crest. Recently moths were discovered in the building's historic textiles. So the carpet has been lifted and sent off to be deep frozen to kill any grubs, leaving the chapel's extraordinary history exposed until the end of August.

"Few people come here following the trail of Oliver Cromwell, but this opportunity adds one more layer to the extraordinary richness of the history of this building," a spokeswoman said.

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