500 Years of Wonder: Westminster Abbey celebrates the 500th anniversary of Henry VII’s Lady Chapel
Westminster Abbey holds a series of special events; a concert, lectures and services, this spring to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Henry VII's Lady Chapel – a glorious example of late medieval architecture, called the 'wonder of the world' by Tudor historian, John Leland.
500 Years of Wonder features a concert performed by the Choir of Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 26th April at 7.00pm: Magnificat: Five centuries of music dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary with works by Thomas Tallis, William Mundy, Arnold Bax, Benjamin Britten and John Tavener.
Free lectures with leading medieval historians: Christopher Wilson, Dr Richard Rex and Dr Andrew Foster take place on Wednesday 27th April, Friday 29th April and Wednesday 4th May, in the Lady Chapel at 6.30 pm.
Henry VII lavished huge sums on the building of the chapel which was begun in 1503 and finally dedicated in 1516, seven years after his death. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, in whose honour the monks of Westminster sang a special 'Lady Mass' each day, the Chapel as the last great masterpiece of English medieval architecture continues to inspire awe and wonder five hundred years on.
The Chapel's spectacular fan vaulted ceiling and the King's imposing tomb, by the flamboyant and brilliant Italian sculptor Pietro Torrigiano, are an extraordinary testimony to the power and ambition of the first of the Tudor monarchs.