Westminster Abbey is as famous for its architecture as it is for its religious functions, and will be hosting three free lectures on the 500-year old Lady Chapel part of its building.

The lecture series is part of a series marking the 500th Anniversary of the Consecration of Henry VII’s Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey, said to be the last great masterpiece of English medieval architecture.

Fittingly, the three lectures will take place inside the Lady Chapel itself. Note, there is a dress code for these talks – lounge suit or day dress.

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Prof Christopher Wilson: The Architecture and Fittings of the Lady Chapel

Henry VII planned the rebuilding of the Lady Chapel and his own commemoration there, with characteristic focus and attention to detail, but whereas the architecture and sculpture were executed entirely according to plan, the king died before his tomb and the fittings of the chapel were complete, and his wishes were only partly implemented.

This lecture will attempt to evoke the appearance of the chapel as it would have been if all of its splendid contents had been made and installed in accordance with the founder’s requirement.

Wednesday 27th April 6:30pm Book Here

Dr Richard Rex: Lady Margaret Beaufort

The lecture will explore the relationship between the most powerful woman in early Tudor England and the most enduring cultural legacy bequeathed by her son, King Henry VII – the Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.

Lady Margaret Beaufort, ‘the King’s Mother’, was intimately involved in many of her son’s most notable achievements, and the Lady Chapel was no exception. Her investment in his project, an investment that was as personal and emotional as it was financial, shows us how this ‘noble princess’ integrated her dynastic political priorities with profound social concerns and religious commitments.

Friday, 29th April 6:30pm Book Here

Dr Andrew Foster: James I, the Abbey and the ‘beauty of holiness’

The lecture will challenge the view that James I had little association with Westminster Abbey beyond commissioning the monuments to his predecssor Elizabeth I and his mother, Mary Queen of Scots.

It will look at the King’s close relationship with Dean Richard Neile and examine how changes brought about during James’s reign influenced not only the work of Archbishop Laud in the next reign but also trends that were picked up again in the late seventeenth century.

The lecture will also examine James I’s successful ‘re-establishing’ of the Church of England, something his predecessor Elizabeth I had struggled to achieve.

Wednesday, 4th May 6:30pm Book Here

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