82nd Anniversary of the Consecration of Downside Abbey

Today marks the 82nd anniversary of the Consecration of Downside Abbey. 

Downside Abbey Church was granted abbatial status in October 1899, before being raised to the rank of Minor Basilica in 1935. There are only four Minor Basilicas in England – Downside Abbey, National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady (Walsingham), Westminster Cathedral, and St Chad’s Cathedral (Birmingham).

The Consecration is well documented in the Downside Abbey Archives, including letters and an account of the day. The commemorative album reads:

His Holiness Pope Pius XI, by a Rescript dated 23rd May 1935, in honour of the forthcoming Consecration of the Abbey Church, and as a mark of His esteem for the Abbey and the work which its monks had performed for the Catholic Church during the past three centuries, most graciously raised the church to the rank of a Minor Basilica, conferring upon it all the rights, privileges and Indulgences attached thereto, from the date of its consecration, in perpetuity. 

The images below are from the same commemorative album.

To book a tour of Downside Abbey, contact us here.