Westminster Abbey Honour for Poet Philip Larkin

Wednesday, 17th June 2015

Westminster Abbey Honour for Poet Philip Larkin

Westminster Abbey is to honour the poet Philip Larkin with a memorial stone to be dedicated next year.

A ledger stone will be placed in Poets' Corner and will be dedicated on Friday 2nd December 2016, the anniversary of Larkin's death in 1985.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall made the announcement from Philip Larkin's former office at the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull where the poet was Librarian for 30 years.

Dr Hall said:

With the kings and queens in Westminster Abbey are buried or memorialised 3,300 men and women, many of whom have contributed with distinction to the health and well-being not only of the people of England and the United Kingdom and Commonwealth but of the whole English-speaking world. Within the Abbey's ancient walls, alive with prayer and celebration, are writers and poets whose work has entertained and ennobled their readers, lying among the benefactors, inventors and scientists, actors and architects, clergy, artists and musicians, politicians, judges and explorers, soldiers, sailors and airmen. Philip Larkin will be memorialised very near Geoffrey Chaucer finding a fitting place among his fellow poets. I have no doubt that his work and memory will live on as long as the English language continues to be understood.

Professor Edwin Dawes, Chairman of the Philip Larkin Society said:

The memorialisation of Philip Larkin in Poets' Corner will be warmly welcomed by his many admirers in all walks of life. The most admired and popular poet of the 20th century, his words are quoted more frequently than those of any of his poetic contemporaries, in the press and the media. In 2014 The Whitsun Wedding, his best-loved poem, was commemorated by the installation of an inscribed slate ellipse at Kings Cross Station, and we are delighted that in 2016 Larkin will take his place at the very cultural heart of the nation, in Westminster Abbey amongst Britain's greatest writers.

Order of Service for Philip Larkin Memorial Service, 1986