Architectural history

Plans for a great new Abbey Church began in 1840, during the priorship of Dom Bernard Murphy.

By the end of the century when the monastery, until then a priory, was elevated to the status of an abbey, the work was well in hand. The church, still lacking a complete west front, was consecrated in 1935 and was raised to the rank of minor basilica in the same year.

It is one of England’s great neo-Gothic churches with the work of several distinguished architects including Thomas Garner, Sir Ninian Comper and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott contributing to its beauty and originality.

What to look for when you visit: