Julia King (Lambeth Palace Library): Curator’s Lecture on Syon Abbey and cultures of women’s reading

October 23 at 17:30 19:00

Syon Abbey was England’s first and only Birgittine abbey, founded by Henry V in 1415. By the time of the Dissolution, it had become one of the richest monastic houses in England. The Abbey was a double house of men and women, but the women’s community was far larger and, during its existence, the Abbey was headed exclusively by Abbesses.

The Birgittine order followed by the inhabitants of Syon Abbey forbade any material possessions other than books. Under the guidance of its several abbesses, this exception led to the development of one of the largest libraries in England, and a community where reading and piety were intertwined throughout daily life. In her lecture, Julia King will comment on the cultures of women’s reading and writing that flourished at the Abbey, using evidence from books in Lambeth Palace Library’s collections.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket via Eventbrite or email archives@churchofengland.org no later than Tuesday 22 October.

Please note that tickets must be booked individually for security purposes.


Lambeth Palace Library

Lambeth Palace Road
London, SE1 7JT
020 7898 1400
View Venue Website