The Library and Muniment Room houses the extensive and historic collections of books, manuscripts and archival material belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
Westminster Abbey Library provides a centre for research into all aspects of the Abbey's history.
The present Library, begun after the foundation of the Abbey as a collegiate church in 1560, has been housed in part of the former monastic dormitory since 1591. In 1623 Dean John Williams furnished the library with book presses (at his own expense) and with some 2,000 volumes. Thereafter the collections grew by gift, bequest and purchase throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Dean Zachary Pearce gave a bequest of all his books in 1774.
The Library now holds around 14,000 pre-1801 printed books, about 60 manuscripts (mostly medieval) and a collection of printed and manuscript music. Illuminated manuscripts include the Litlyngton Missal, the Liber Regalis and the prayer book of Lady Margaret Beaufort. In addition there is an extensive collection of printed books and articles on the history of Westminster Abbey, St Margaret’s Church, coronations and related topics.
This visit is Free.
Places limited. Advance booking essential. Book via Eventbrite.
The library is at first floor level, reached by a stone staircase. There are two steps from the east cloister to the library doorway and a further 25 steps into the library itself.
Owing to the historic nature of our buildings there is no alternative access.
Space in the library is limited so cannot accommodate bulky bags.
Westminster Abbey is in the heart of London - next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
Buses from all over London pass by the Abbey. Find the best journey for you via the Transport for London website.
The closest underground stations are:
Westminster (Jubilee, District & Circle Lines)
St James's Park (District and Circle Lines)
The closest stations are:
London Victoria (0.8 miles)
London Waterloo (0.8 miles)
For a map and detailed information on the location please see the Westminster Abbey website.
Got a question about this visit? Email firstname.lastname@example.org