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January at Westminster Abbey

In January, the Abbey is open to visitors 6 days each week. Always be sure to check our latest opening dates and times at our website – just click on the “plan your visit now” button, below!

Read on to find out about what’s happening in January – we’re looking forward to welcoming you!






Hidden Highlights Tour

Location: The Abbey
Date: 1st – 31st January
Time: Times vary
Tickets: £15.00 + Abbey ticket
Explore behind the scenes of the Abbey on a guided tour of some areas not usually open to the public.
On this 75-minute tour you will visit areas of the Abbey not normally open to the public. You will see the lost medieval sacristy, recently revealed during one of our biggest ever archaeological projects, and:

  • Florence Nightingale & Nurses’ chapel, the chapel remembers those in nursing professions who died during the 1939-1945 war
  • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which displays many of the Abbey’s treasures

Jerusalem Chamber, the medieval room where Henry IV died and Henry V became king




A Service of Thanksgiving for The Rt Hon Baroness Boothroyd

Location: The Abbey*
Date: Tuesday 16th January
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
Tickets: Free (booking required)
A Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of The Rt Hon the Baroness Boothroyd will be held in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, on Tuesday 16th January.

Baroness Boothroyd served as a Crossbench Peer in House of Lords from 2000 until her death in 2003.

She was a very popular and much-loved Speaker of the House of Commons having been elected previously as the MP for West Bromwich from 1973 until her retirement in 2000. Known for good humour and shrewd approach, Betty gave an impressive service to the Nation and was also much loved in her local village where she will be particularly missed.

The service in Westminster Abbey will be a celebration of her life with well-chosen music, readings and tributes to her.

*Location to be confirmed closer to date.




Day of Prayer 2024: The Enduring Melody

Location: St Margaret’s Church
Date: Saturday 20th January
Time: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Tickets: Free (booking required)
Join Sr Jane Livesey CJ in St Margaret’s Church for our annual Day of Prayer.

The theme of our 2024 of Prayer, held during Christian Unity week, is that of ‘the enduring melody’ that underpins all our lives – the enduring melody of our relationships: with God, with others, and with ourselves. We will explore how these relationships, separate but inextricably intertwined, enable us to flourish ourselves and to support the flourishing of others.

On our 35th annual Day of Prayer, we are pleased to host Sr Jane Livesey as she offers three reflections inspired by the book The Enduring Melody by The Very Reverend Michael Mayne KCVO, Dean emeritus of Westminster.

The reflections

  • The Enduring Melody: Our Relationship with God
  • The Enduring Melody: Our Relationship with Others
  • The Enduring Melody: Our Relationship with Ourselves

About the speaker

Sister Jane Livesey CJ is a member of the worldwide Congregation of Jesus, an apostolic religious congregation founded by the pioneering Yorkshirewoman, Mary Ward, in the early part of the 17th century. After spending the first part of her life in the congregation as a teacher and headteacher, Sister Jane was appointed Provincial Superior of the English Province of her congregation, before being elected as General Superior of the whole congregation in October 2011, a role she held for almost eleven years, until August 2022. After a sabbatical period she now undertakes a variety of ministries.

The character and charism of the Congregation of Jesus includes the call on its members to be contemplatives in action, finding God in all things, to live as companions of Jesus, sharing his mission to the world, to be lovers of truth and workers of justice, in the light of the gospel and to be women of freedom and generosity, available to go wherever the need is greatest.


Everyone attending the day is welcome to stay on for Evensong in the Abbey at 5.00pm.


To apply for tickets (free), please email

Watch online

If you are unable to join us in St Margaret’s Church, the day will also be streamed for you to watch live on the Abbey’s YouTube channel. To register to watch online (free), please email



Notre Dame de Paris, The Augmented Exhibition

Date: 7th February – 1st June 2024
Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm
Location: Chapter House
Tickets: Included in the price of admission (booking required)
Immerse yourself in the history and spectacle of Notre Dame de Paris in the UK’s only location for this world touring interactive exhibition.

About the exhibition
Explore the story of the French gothic masterpiece, Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) from its earliest origins in the 12th century and its illustrious 850-year history to its painstaking restoration following the devastating fire of 2019.

This exhibition is an immersive and interactive journey through Notre Dame’s past including the lavish wedding of King Henri IV, the glittering coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the 19th century construction of Notre-Dame’s iconic spire of Viollet-le-Duc, which was tragically destroyed by the fire. The skill, artistry and vision over the ages of its architects, craftsmen and builders, and the 21st century experts who are bringing it back to its former glory are brought to life in the show.

Upon entry you will be given a HistoPad™—a portable, touch-screen tablet to show you key moments in Notre-Dame’s history and restoration. Accessible to all ages and levels of technological savvy, it is in 13 languages and includes a virtual treasure hunt for children, and onboard selfie studio.

The HistoPad™ tour will take place in the Abbey’s 13th century Chapter House and envelope you in a multi-sensory experience—including audio of the cathedral’s organ and tolling bells, a full-size replica of one of the structure’s famed chimera statues, and a projection of one of Notre-Dame’s iconic rose windows, which survived the fire.

Created by digital heritage specialists, Histovery, in collaboration with Rebuilding Notre-Dame de Paris, and supported by L’Oréal Groupe.

Ticketing information

The exhibition is free but you will need to book a slot when purchasing your tickets to the Abbey.

Exhibition tickets are released in conjunction with Abbey tickets, up to two months prior.

Fraternité season
This exhibition is part of Fraternité, a spring season of events at the Abbey celebrating the links between the UK and France with music, talks and events. More details announced soon.






On 16th January 1928 the ashes of the poet and writer Thomas Hardy were buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, immediately to the north of the grave of Charles Dickens. But his heart is buried at Stinsford in Dorset, where his parents lie. The inscription on his memorial in the churchyard there reads “Here lies the heart of Thomas Hardy O.M. son of Thomas and Jemima Hardy. He was born at Upper Bockhampton 2 June 1840 and died at Max Gate Dorchester 11 January 1928. His ashes rest in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey”.

The chief mourners were his widow Florence, his sister, the Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, Rudyard Kipling, Sir James Barrie, George Bernard Shaw and A.E. Housman. The casket had lain in St Faith’s chapel before the service. The grave was lined with purple and the Dean of Westminster sprinkled a handful of Wessex earth on the casket during the service, which was according to the Book of Common Prayer. Wessex is a collective name for the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset where Hardy set many of his novels including The Return of the Native and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

The simple inscription on the stone reads:

THOMAS HARDY O.M. 1840 1928

The original inscription had become worn so a new stone and incised inscription was put down in 2019.

Thomas was born on 2nd June 1840 at Higher Bockhampton in Dorset, son of Thomas, a stonemason, and Jemima. He was educated locally and apprenticed as an architect. He moved to London in 1862 and in 1874 he married Emma Gifford (died 1912). Far from the Madding Crowd was Hardy’s first major novel and made him famous. Many other novels, poems and short stories followed and he was awarded the Order of Merit. In 1914 he married Florence Dugdale and died on 11th January 1928.

An annual wreath laying takes place at his grave. A commemoration service was held in the Abbey on 4th July 1968 and on 10th August 1978.





This set of six coasters comes presented in a metal gift tin. Each of the six coasters has a different Shakespearean quote connected to drinking and eating, making them a wonderful gift for a foodie or those with a love of literature.
The six quotes in this set are:
Good company, good wine, good welcome can make good people – Henry VIII
(I) drink to the general joy of the whole table –  Macbeth
Have we no wine here? – Coriolanus
Eat and drink as friends  – The Taming of the Shrew
Thou’rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink – Twelfth Night
Good friends go in and taste some wine with me  – Julius Caesar





Sundays throughout the year

Held on Sundays at 5.00pm, these popular 30-minute recitals are given by visiting and the Abbey’s own organists and feature a wide range of music to suit all tastes.

Admission is free, tickets are not required.






Westminster Abbey has been a place of worship since the tenth century and we still hold services every day.

Everyone is welcome to worship with us; services are free of charge and most do not require a ticket.






It costs over £14 million a year to maintain the Abbey, and we do not receive any funding from the Church, the Crown, or the Government. The drastic reduction to our income caused by the Covid pandemic is putting our priceless heritage at risk.

You can support the work of the Abbey, and preserve over 1,000 years of history, by becoming a member of the Abbey Association. From just £40, membership benefits include free entry to the Abbey and Galleries, exclusive member events and tours and discounts in our shops and the Cellarium Café and Terrace.

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