THE STORY SPACE
Westminster Abbey is an iconic World Heritage Site with an incredible story that spans over a thousand years. As a coronation church since 1066, the Abbey is enriched by a magnificent history which makes it stand proudly as one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country. This infamous royal church retains a tradition of Christian worship and is a working, inclusive church that offers daily services to all.
THE STORY NARRATIVE
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries are a major development at Westminster Abbey and the most significant intervention in the fabric of the building since the addition of its western towers in 1745. The installation of a new lift and staircase tower in Poet’s Corner, connects the Triforium and enables accessibility for a significant number of visitors which has hitherto been impossible. The Triforium offers new views of the Abbey and Palace of Westminster as well as close-up architectural details.
The Triforium is an atmospheric and contemplative space, displaying historic and artistic treasures in a way that engages and delights visitors, whilst also informing and educating them about the history of the Abbey and its present-day role within the Church and the nation.
THE STORY ENGINEERING
The four key themes that define the Queen’s Jubilee Galleries are Westminster Abbey: the Buildings, Westminster Abbey: Worship and Daily Life, Westminster Abbey and the Monarchy and The Nation’s Memory. The displays are grouped thematically with six digital media presentations located throughout allowing visitors to delve deeper into Westminster Abbey’s inspiring story and connect with different aspects of this iconic building’s past and present.
Each screen provides an additional layer of information that conveys the exhibition content whilst also maintaining the atmosphere, contemplative character and spiritual quality of the Triforium. The screens are custom Blackcat displays with ambient light sensors that adjust the brightness of the screens. All LCD displays share visual content without any accompanying audio in order to preserve the quiet, reflective and spiritual nature of the space.
Chronological Reconstruction comprises of a 24” LCD display that shares the physical evolution of the Abbey over its 1000-year history. This animated presentation shows the stages of construction, with the inclusion of the most recent developments to the Triforium thereby connecting the past with the present.
Worship and Daily Life shows the Abbey as a working church that welcomes all. The 32” LCD display presents a film that captures the diversity of people and activities that take place behind the scenes of the Abbey, providing a comparison between large services and private contemplation.
Litlyngton Missal offers an interactive experience with The Litlyngton Missal, an illuminated manuscript, commissioned in 1383 by Nicholas de Litlyngton, Abbott of Westminster. Using the 24” touchscreen, visitors can turn the pages of this book, which would otherwise be too fragile to handle.
Coronation Ceremony explains the role of the Abbey as a Royal Peculiar and how the Abbey has been the Coronation Church since 1066. Coronation rituals are revealed through images and footage that show the transformation of the Abbey for royal events, identifying objects which are used during the coronation.
Effigies examines the purpose and construction of the Abbey’s historic collection of royal effigies, using a mix of historical engravings and new footage of conservation work being undertaken.
Finally, Nations Memory focuses on people and their different walks of life. Using a mix of historical and new footage, the different forms of commemoration are displayed, including rolls of honour, plaques, monuments, stained-glass windows and graves.