Romsey Festival

Romsey Festival logo

We are playing host to a number of events during the Festival, which runs from Saturday 1 to Sunday 16 July. Lots more, in a wide variety of genres, are taking place in venues across Romsey and in neighbouring villages. See full details on the Festival website,

Here’s a quick summary of what’s taking place in the Abbey.

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Links in events below take you to the Festival website.

Evening concerts

Date Time Details
Sat 1 7.30pm A Gala Evening
Romsey Choral Society and City Of Southampton Orchestra get the festival off to a spectacular start with favourite music from operas by Bizet, Borodin, Puccini, Rossini, Strauss and Verdi.
Tue 4 6pm Schools Choir Festival
Savour the outstanding choral talent in our local schools. This event is part of the Romsey Festival of Youth Music.
Thu 13 7.30pm Abbey Sounds
Vox Humana present early sacred music including Ambrosian and Gregorian Chant, music of St Hildegard of Bingen, from 13th century France, the Renaissance Masters and beyond.
Fri 14 7.30pm I Was Glad
Romsey Singers and Romsey Abbey Choirs join forces to celebrate 400 years of English choral and organ music. The concert includes favourites by Purcell, Stanford, Parry, Vaughan Williams and Britten.
Sat 15  7.30pm Men And Magnificent Music
Romsey Male Voice Choir are joined by guest Male Voice Choirs from England and Wales for choral classics and popular songs from the shows.

Lunchtime recitals

Recitals start at 1.10pm. Entry is free; there’s a retiring collection.

Date Details
Mon 3 Capital City Girls Choir from Raleigh, North Caroline, USA
Tue 4 Peter and the Wolf: a recital for children
Fri 7 St Teilo Tudor organ recital
Tue 11 Simon Grant, voice
Wed 12 Rachel Maxey, viola
Thu 13 Nina Rideout, classical guitar

Choral Services

The Abbey Choirs and other local choirs will be singing Choral Evensong at 5.30pm every day during the Festival (6.30pm on Sundays). The Romsey Singers will provide the music for the Festival Eucharist at 10am on Sunday 9 July.  For the Festival Closing Service on Sunday 16 July at 6.30pm, the Abbey Choirs are joined by the Choir of Christchurch Priory and an orchestra.

You might also be interested in daily reflections taking place each weekday morning in the United Reformed Church, Poetry, Prose and Prayer for a time of Festival.

Guided tours

Each day throughout the Festival, come and explore a different aspect of the history, life and art of the Abbey. Tours start at 3pm and last for about 45 minutes. Tickets are £4, available from the tour guide.

Date Topic
Sat 1  Stained glass
Sun 2  Sculptures
Mon 3  Victorian improvements
Tue 4  Monuments
Wed 5  Archaeology
Thu 6  Woodwork
Fri 7  Around the outside (or textiles, excluding vestments, if wet)
Sat 8  Bell tower (3pm tour sold out; places on extra 2pm tour going fast)
Sun 9  A tour for children (5-12 years’ old)
Mon 10 Broadlands links
Tue 11  Vestments
Wed 12  Organs
Thu 13 Memorials
Fri 14  Works of art
Sat 15  St. Swithun’s, Crampmoor (at St. Swithun’s)
Sun 16  Saints in the Abbey

Bell-ringing

Our team of ringers will be in action on the Wednesdays of the Festival from 7.30pm. In addition, they’ll be ringing a quarter-peal from 5.30pm, before the Closing Service on Sunday 16 July.

Quilt festival

Once again, we play host to the Romsey Quilters during Festival Fortnight. There will also be a display of work by children from Romsey Abbey Primary School and a different demonstration each day. Entry is free, but please buy a catalogue to support their work. Learn more

Calligraphy exhibition

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, 9am-5pm

Hampshire Calligraphers hold an exhibition of calligraphic work annually; this year’s theme is Planet Earth. Exhibitors range from beginners to professionals. Come and see what how calligraphy has developed into its own artform.