The new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, set more than 50ft above the Abbey’s floor in the medieval Triforium, will display the greatest treasures from the Abbey’s collection.
The Triforium has never been open to the public and visitors will reach the Jubilee Galleries through the Weston Tower, a new tower housing a staircase and a lift - the first major addition to the Abbey church since 1745.
Built using traditional and new materials, The Weston Tower, designed by Ptolemy Dean, the Abbey’s Surveyor of the Fabric (Consultant Architect), is outside Poets' Corner, tucked between the Abbey’s 13th Century Chapter House and 16th Century Lady Chapel. The design takes inspiration from a pattern often found in the Abbey: a star shape derived from two rotating squares.
The exhibition, which has been designed by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects), tells the story of Westminster Abbey through 300 objects in four themes: Building Westminster Abbey, Worship and Daily Life, Westminster Abbey and the Monarchy and The Abbey and National Memory.
Among the treasures on display in the Galleries is the Liber Regalis (a 14th Century illuminated manuscript which sets out the procedure for the Coronation Service) and the crimson velvet cape worn by the Dean of Westminster at the Coronation of Charles II in 1661. Royal funeral effigies, silverware, manuscripts, stonework and vestments are also on show.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries form the final phase of the Dean and Chapter’s 2020 Vision development plan, which set out to offer a more comprehensive and generous welcome to the two million people who come annually to the Abbey as worshippers and visitors.
For further information about the Jubilee Galleries see: www.westminster-abbey.org/galleries
Winner - "Project of the Year" and "Building Conservation", RICS London Awards 2019
Winner - AABC Conservation Award - Civic Trust Awards 2019