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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey is not currently open for worship or general visiting but you are welcome to visit for individual prayer at the following times:

Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday: 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Our clergy are also producing regular podcasts to support worship from home.

Herbert Francis Westlake

In the east cloister of Westminster Abbey is the grave of the Reverend Herbert Francis Westlake, Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey. The inscription reads:

1879 + 1925 Herbert Francis Westlake M.V.O. M.A. F.S.A. Minor Canon, Custodian and Historian of this Collegiate Church and Edith his wife 1893 1982

He was the son of Alfred Westlake of Gloucester and was born on 3rd August 1879 and educated at Christ's Hospital and Oxford. He became a school chaplain and then assistant maths master at Lancing College 1903-1909 and at Westminster School 1918-1919. He was Minor Canon from 1909 to his death in 1925 and assistant keeper of Abbey records 1918-1925. In 1923 he published his two volume history of the Abbey making extensive use of the Abbey archive sources. He also wrote the "New Guide to Westminster Abbey" and a history of St Margaret's Westminster. In 1913 he married Edith May Raynor, daughter of the Reverend A. Raynor, Master of the King's Scholars at Westminster School. Their son John Francis was baptised in the Abbey in 1914 and later ordained, daughters Katherine and Margaret were baptised in 1916 and daughter Joan married the Reverend Ulrich Simon in the Abbey in 1949. He died suddenly from heart trouble just after Queen Alexandra's funeral service in the Abbey on 27th November 1925.


3rd August 1879


27th November 1925




Cloisters; East Cloister

Memorial Type


Herbert Francis Westlake
Reverend Herbert Francis Westlake

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Herbert Francis Westlake
Herbert Francis Westlake grave

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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It’s very hard not to be enthusiastic working at the Abbey. If this place doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will.

Valerie - Foundation Director

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