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The Syon Abbey Archive


Photograph postcard labelled 'Syon Abbey Farm' (c 1954)

The Syon Abbey archive consists of more than 150 boxes of material relating to the workings, business and people of Syon Abbey, dating from 1467 to 2018. It includes correspondence, documents, account books, diaries, notebooks, personal papers, plans, photographs and artwork.

Records in the archive predominantly date to the nineteenth and twentieth century, and so represent a very full reflection of the workings of Syon Abbey from the community's return to England in 1861 to the closure of Syon Abbey in 2011. In addition, the archive contains a significant quantity of material dating from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, the period in which the community was living in exile in the Low Countries, France and Portugal. The archive also includes a small number of fifteenth-century records relating to property, as well as several records created or collected by members of the community since the closure of Syon Abbey.

The archive was deposited on loan for safekeeping with the University of Exeter Special Collections by the remaining Bridgettine nuns of Syon Abbey in 2011, and was catalogued between November 2016 and June 2018. The archive can be searcherd via the online archives catalogue.