What is Syon Abbey?
Syon Abbey was founded in 1415 by Henry V as a monastic house of the Order of Saint Savior, whose rule was received in a vision by Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden, and based on the Rule of Saint Augustine. The Birgittine Rule called for 60 sisters and 25 brothers, all living in strict though separate enclosure under spiritual authority of the Confessor General and the final authority of the Abbess. Syon Abbey quickly became one of the wealthiest monasteries in England. It was renown for the sisters’ piety, the brothers’ public preaching, its special indulgence, and the great learning of its members. After its dissolution in 1539 a handful of sisters sustained Syon Abbey as a recusant community, continually renewed by new English members, resident in various locations throughout Europe. In 1861 the community returned to England where they continue today.
What is the Syon Abbey Society?
This scholarly society, founded in 2009, aims to promote the study of the history and literature of Syon Abbey through online resources, sponsored conference sessions and an occasional newsletter distributed online. Membership is free.
To be on our mailing list and be a part of the Society, please email
We are seeking members to contribute book and article reviews, notes, bibliography, and announcements for our occasional newsletter. Please email about your interest.
Brandon Alakas, University of Alberta
Laura Saetveit Miles, University of Bergen, Norway
Paul J. Patterson, Saint Joseph’s University
Alex Da Costa, Newnham College, University of Cambridge
Research Assistant, 2011-2013:
Ellen Cope, University of Michigan