Saint Dunstan, a former Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury, founded a Benedictine monastery near the River Thames in 960 as part of his reforms of the English Church. St Peter’s Abbey was rebuilt in 1090. In 1245, King Henry III commissioned the current church. Construction of the Anglo-French Gothic structure required 272 years. During the mid-16th century, Henry VIII dissolved and mostly destroyed all Catholic monasteries across Great Britain. Fortunately, he spared this building by creating the Diocese of Winchester in 1540 and making this its Anglican cathedral. Twenty years later, it became the Collegiate Church of St Peter responsible only to the Sovereign (monarch). The 225 foot, twin towers gracing the western façade of Westminster Abbey were created by Nicholas Hawksmoor and finished in 1725 and 1745. Their Gothic Revival design was crafted from white stone from the Isle of Portland.