Lost medieval sacristy opens to public for Summer Festival of events

Friday, 9th July 2021

External view of Westminster Abbey with a magenta colouring

A lost medieval sacristy used by the Abbey’s 13th-century monks revealed in the grounds of the Abbey will be open to the public as part of a Summer Festival of events taking place at the Abbey from July to September.

A visit to the dig will be one of the stops on Hidden Highlights tours taking place this summer, which will also include other areas not usually open to the public: the Jerusalem Chamber where Henry IV died in 1413 and, the Library, formerly part of the monk’s dormitory with a magnificent 15th century oak roof and majestic 17th century bookcases. The tour will finish in the Abbey’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries which has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

"Best ever season"

The Head of Visitor Experience, Scott Craddock said:

“We’ve lined up our best ever season of things to see and do at the Abbey - we hope we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re into history, music, film or theatre, or looking for a family day out.”

Full list of events

Hidden Highlights Tours

The medieval Sacristy, Jerusalem Chamber, the Library and a visit to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries which have only recently re-opened after the pandemic. 

Inside the Royal Wedding

A chance to relive the Royal Wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. Go behind the scenes of the big day with an Abbey guide including a visit to the Shrine where the Wedding Register was signed by the couple. 

Open Air cinema & theatre

Luna Cinema - four nights of film under the stars in Dean’s Yard including The Dark Knight, The Greatest Showman and Notting Hill. 

Illyria Theatre - merriment and mayhem is brought to Dean’s Yard by the touring company, in its 29th year, in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. 

Special Lates

Summer Sessions – See the Abbey after hours, and enjoy a drink in the Cloisters with live music including chill mixes and folksy blues. 

Abbey organists perform as visitors tour the Abbey for a special musical after hours experience. 

Live music

Summer Organ Festival – The Abbey’s organists perform over three evenings including Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals, works by Bach, Liszt and Duruflé, and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. 

Brass on the Grass – Free lunchtime concerts every Wednesday throughout summer in College Garden from some of the UK’s best brass bands.

Family Fun

An action-packed summer programme for families including art & craft sessions, special tours & storytelling and for the first time, hands on handling of historic objects in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. And, the Abbey joins SouthWestFest’s Art Trail with an exhibition in the Chapter House. 

More about the Summer Festival

Find out more about the events and how to book tickets.