Join us for an hour of choral music at Quarr Abbey on Saturday 9 October from 1500 to 1600. There will be no charge.
We will be performing some of the works which will be featured in our October concert (principally excerpts from Victoria’s Missa Pro Officium Defunctorum), plus works by Parsons, Tallis, Mundy, Guerrero, Byrd, Bruckner, Poulenc, Rachmaninov and others.
About Quarr Abbey
The Abbey is one of the Isle of Wight’s most stunning and spiritual places. This Grade I listed building is a significant example of religious architecture and home to an order of Benedictine monks, who live a peaceful life of prayer, contemplation, and brotherhood.
With free entry to the grounds, there is a lot for the public to enjoy at Quarr Abbey. Visitors can drink in the tranquillity of the church, wander the grounds, peruse the bookshop and indulge in some excellent refreshments from the Quarr Abbey café. There are also a lot of local crafts and wares to be found here, including a charming gallery of local art.
Quarr Abbey history
Quarr Abbey was founded in 1132, by the Cistercian order. It thrived for over four centuries, but was ultimately a victim of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. The site languished for another 400 years. In 1902, a French Benedictine order arrived, seeking solace from new French laws banning religious orders. They quickly established a kitchen garden, began to keep chickens and set to work building themselves a new abbey.
The abbey we see today was designed by a Quarr Abbey monk and raised entirely by workers from the Isle of Wight – an astonishing feat, given that the islanders were at that time used only to building single-story homes. Red brick was brought in from Flanders and the building itself is a work of astonishing beauty, combining Belgian, Moorish, and Byzantine elements. In 2012, Quarr Abbey gained a place on the World Monument Fund’s list of precious and endangered buildings.
Quarr Abbey opening times
As this is a living monastery, not all areas of the building are open to the public. However, the visitor centre, gift shop, tea rooms, and other public facilities are open seven days a week (with the exception of Good Friday).
Quarr Abbey wares
There’s plenty to see and do here. Apart from enjoying the atmosphere of the beautiful church and gardens, there is the Quarr Abbey Art Gallery, a well-stocked gift shop, a farm shop selling local produce and delicacies (including Quarr Abbey Ale), and a wonderful tearoom. The tearoom is located in the Abbey’s walled garden and offers a mouthwatering selection of lovingly prepared foods and drinks.