Abbey to open Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries

Westminster Abbey will open a museum in June, in a gallery that has been hidden from view for 700 years.

Known as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, the space will display more than 300 historic and artistic treasures from the abbey’s collection to tell the 1,000-year history of the building.

Visitors will be able to see manuscripts, glass, silverware, stonework and vestments, and the display themes will focus on the buildings, daily life, the monarchy, and the “nation’s memory”.

A new tower will be the main entrance to the ‘triforium’ – the gallery above the arches of the abbey, which has never before been open to the public.

Visitors will be able to explore this unseen area, built by Henry III in 1250-60, and see the views across the abbey’s interior – a view described by the poet John Betjeman as “the best in Europe”.

There will also be views through the triforium’s windows across to Parliament Square and the Palace of Westminster.

The new tower and the galleries will be the most significant addition to the abbey since the west towers were completed in 1745.

HRH The Prince of Wales is the patron of the fundraising campaign to secure funds for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries and access tower. The project cost is nearly £23 million.

Picture credit: Alan Williams.