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Westminster Abbey is a living church at the heart of the nation’s story where more than 1000 years of British history and pilgrimage can be explored under one roof. A warm welcome awaits all in this sacred space.

Our Abbey Highlights Tour includes:

  • Coronation Chair
  • Cosmati Pavement - site of coronations
  • Royal tombs
  • Grave of the Unknown Warrior
  • Poets’ Corner

This tour can be tailored to suit your study topic.

Tour duration: 1.5 hours | Cost: £4

Abbey Highlights Tour

Duration of tours: 1.5 hours | Cost: £4


Christian Life and Worship

Explore how symbols help Christians to worship in the Abbey and live the Christian life. This tour looks at how symbolic objects, actions, words and images are used in baptism, marriage and funerals.

KS 3-5


Abbey and Parliament

See where Parliament met in medieval times and explore the historical and contemporary links between the Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

KS 3-5


Religion in Public Life

Consider what Britain as a 'Christian country' means in the Coronation Church, where Benedictine values of hospitality, mutual respect and tolerance continue to contribute to contemporary society. Additional 'Meet a Priest' workshop recommended.

KS 4-5


Pilgrimage

Why have people come to the Abbey as pilgrims for nearly a thousand years? Find out about the Shrine of St Edward, and consider what pilgrimage means to Christians and offers to all.

KS 3-4


Religion and Science

Some of the greatest, and most controversial, scientists are buried or remembered at Westminster Abbey. This tour explores the relationship between science and religion in the past and today.

KS 3-5


British Values

Democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, respect and tolerance: find out how Westminster Abbey underpins and upholds core British values.

KS 3-4


RE tours

Duration of tours: 1.5 hours | Cost: £4


Gothic Abbey

Explore the differences between Medieval Gothic and Victorian Gothic on this architectural and literary tour.

KS 3-5


Shakespeare

Faith, power and death: explore the cultural context of Shakespeare’s plays in Westminster Abbey and visit the graves and memorials of Tudor and Jacobean playwrights.

KS 3-5


English tours

Duration of tours: 1.5 hours | Cost: £4


Henry III: Piety and Patronage

What inspired Henry III to spend the nation’s wealth on building Westminster Abbey? Discover Henry’s devotion to St Edward and visit the Chapter House, scene of Simon de Montfort’s first parliament.

KS5


Henry VII: Building a Legacy

Find out how Henry VII established and consolidated his dynasty with this detailed look at the Lady Chapel and the Shrine of St Edward. Tour includes rare access to Henry’s tomb.

KS 4-5


The Pre-Reformation Church, 1529*

Examine the state of the church in 1529. Explore themes such as church fabric and wealth, religious doctrine and practice, criticism of the monasteries and popular Catholicism within the context of Westminster Abbey, a Benedictine monastery until 1540.

KS 4-5


Enquiring into Elizabeth*

Discover what sovereignty meant to Elizabeth I as you stand at the Coronation site and find out how her religious settlement affected Westminster Abbey.

KS 4-5


* These sessions can be booked as part of a joint offer with The National Archives at Kew.


History tours

Cost: £5 per student


Icons

Join icon writer Reverend Regan O’Callaghan for a practical class exploring the tradition of icon writing. Using egg tempura, pigments and gold leaf, students will create a beautiful icon and learn about the symbolism of this ancient form of worship.

KS 3-5


Meet a Priest

Put your questions on Christian teaching and moral, ethical and social issues to a member of the clergy. Can be combined with any RE tour of the Abbey.

KS 3-5


Workshops

Cost: £5 per student


Question Time

Wednesday 17th October 2018, 1:00-3:30pm

Debate current issues with a panel of distinguished speakers.

KS5

Maximum 15 students per school


NEW: for the Armistice Centenary

Armistice and After: religion, peace and conflict for GCSE

5th November 2018. 10:15am-12:30pm or 12:45-3:00pm

Discover how Westminster Abbey remembers those who gave their lives in war and join experts to explore the issues posed by armed conflict for people of faith.

KS4


NEW: History Master Class

Wednesday 13th February 2019, 10:00am-1:00pm

Medieval historian Professor David Carpenter gives a lecture and takes questions on Henry III to mark 750 years since the consecration
of the Abbey. Includes an Abbey tour.

KS5


Special events

Self-led visits

Schools are welcome to come and explore the Abbey without a guide on self-led visits. We have trails available to download to support your visit. The trails cover a range of topics, including Church and State, Maths, Tudors, Christianity, Super Scientists and Charles Dickens.

Plan your self-led visit
Self-led visits

Video-conferencing

Book a video-conference session led by our education officers, and your students can talk to us live, on a topic of your choice. Video-conferences are free of charge and can be booked at a time to suit you. Please call us to discuss your requirements.

Pay us a virtual visit
Video-conferencing

Free visits for eligible schools

We encourage visits from all UK schools. However, we recognise that the cost of a visit can be a barrier.

Schools with 35% or more pupils eligible for free school meals may book a free guided tour of the Abbey. 

All maintained schools in the boroughs listed may bring one whole year 8 group for free for any guided tour this academic year (September 2018–June 2019).

Email us to find out more and book your visit: [email protected]

Eligible Boroughs:
Barking and Dagenham
Brent
Camden
Enfield
Greenwich
Hackney
Haringey
Islington
Lambeth
Lewisham
Newham
Southwark
Tower Hamlets
Waltham Forest
Westminster

Free visits subject to availability

I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.

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Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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