Here below is some information from E. A. Jones (University of Exeter) about upcoming events in 2015 in celebration of the 600th anniversary of Syon Abbey.
Syon at Six Hundred
The foundation stone of Syon Abbey was laid at Twickenham on 3 March 1415. This note is to alert you to two conferences dedicated to Syon’s sexcentenary. I will be organising them together with Vincent Gillespie (University of Oxford), Alexandra Walsham (University of Cambridge), and Carmen Mangion (Birkbeck University of London).
7-9 November 2014, Syon House, Syon Park, Brentford.
A weekend workshop held on the site of the medieval monastery. We will focus especially on medieval and reformation Syon, and the transformation of Syon Abbey into Syon House. (Coincidentally, the site passed to its present owner, the Duke of Northumberland, in 1594, the same year that the Syon community arrived in Lisbon.) There will be a chance to ‘Walk about Sion, and go round about her; and tell the towers thereof’ (Ps. 48:11) in the company of Topher Martyn, head gardener at Syon Park, and Harvey Sheldon (Birkbeck University of London), who directed the archaeological investigation of the site in the 2000s.
22-25 July 2015, University of Exeter.
We will join forces with the Birgittastiftelsen (Birgitta Foundation) for their 2015 Conference, which will include a special focus on Syon during its centenary year. The University of Exeter now holds many resources for the study of Syon Abbey, including the medieval manuscripts and fragments, the early modern books, and the extensive archive. One of our aims is to highlight the potential of these materials for understanding the last 200 years of Syon’s history – a period that to date scholarship has barely touched. The conference will include a formal celebration of the sexcentenary on the feast of St Bridget, 23 July 2015, at which we hope to be joined by Sister Anne (as I am still learning to call the Abbess!).
We would like these events to launch a new phase of Syon studies that will culminate in a new, collaborative history of the community from its foundation until the present day.
Further details of all these plans and events, and calls for papers, will appear on the Society’s webpages and elsewhere over the coming months.
Eddie Jones, University of Exeter