A Sneak Peek At The New Westminster Abbey Experience

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 13 months ago

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A Sneak Peek At The New Westminster Abbey Experience

In June 2018, part of Westminster Abbey will open its doors to the public for the first time in its 700-year history.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries will be in a room high above the abbey floor, known as the triforium.

A new tower — the first to be built at the abbey for 300 years — will form the main entrance to the museum. Designed by Ptolemy Dean Architects, it's a glass, neo-gothic structure that will nestle relatively inconspicuously next to Poets' Corner (even if it does remind us a little of Minster Court, in the City).

Artists' impression of the Abbey's first new tower in 300 years

In its capacity as a museum, the triforium will display objects including King Henry V's saddle, shield and helm, Mary II's Coronation Chair, and — for fans of more recent royals — Will and Kate's marriage licence.

Views through the museum's windows will look across to Parliament Square and the Palace of Westminster.

The pièce de résistance will be the galleries' panorama of the abbey, from 70 feet up. Until now, such a vantage point has only been seen by the public during TV broadcasts.

The tower and galleries are the most significant addition to the Abbey since Nicholas Hawksmoor's west towers were completed in 1745.

Last Updated 19 December 2017