Abbey Part 4

1 : Introduction
2 : Motor Museum
3 : SOE Exhibit
4 : Gardens
5 : Beaulieu Abbey
6 : Palace House
7 : James Bond Exhibit


In 1538 the refectory of the original abbey was re-dedicated to The Blessed Virgin and Holy Child and became the parish church of Beaulieu. It has remained so ever since.

Inside the church, especially if the sun is shining, one will probably notice that the church is not orientated as is usual to the east/west in the usual way.

Because it was the refectory before 1538 which was positioned on the south side of the original abbey cloisters, this church is situated north to south with the altar at the south end.

Over the years, several changes have been made:

1) Construction of a chancel and sanctuary.
2) Construction of a gallery chapel and vestries.
3) Introduction of oak pews.
4) Installation of a 'Walker' pipe organ in 1858.
5) More recently an oak-framed church hall has been added.


The stone pulpit dates from the days when the building was a refectory and is situated half way along the west wall. Originally this was a lectern from which a monk would read various texts while the other monks sat silently eating their meals.

The pulpit is approached by a stone stairway cut into the thick west wall - an unusual feature found only here and in Chester Cathedral. The construction of the stairway caused a weakness in the wall which had then to be supported by buttresses. In spite of this the wall still has a visible lean outwards.

Memorial (right) described under 'British Listed Buildings' :

"Monument 1651 to Mary Do, stone and marble, figure
 under open pediment on Tuscan columns."


The organ (left) was originally installed in 1858. The firm of JW WALKER and SONS Ltd, Organ Builders, was founded by Joseph William Walker (1802-1870).

In 1828 JWW established his own business in Soho, London, moving later to Francis Street, Tottenham Court Road. Following his death, the firm was continued by his youngest and only surviving son, John James Walker.

The Walker family continued to manage the firm until the death of Reginald Walker MBE, grandson of JWW and in 1975 the firm was reformed under management of Robert Pennells, a previous employee, who removed it from London to a new and well-equipped premises and revived the company's fortunes not least by the production of new mechanical action instruments.

In this he was joined by his son, Andrew Pennells, who had been apprenticed to Klais Orgelbau in Bonn, Germany and who introduced many technical innovations.

Alas, Andrew Pennells died tragically young in 1999 and after the retirement of Robert Pennells, Sebastian Meakin, who had been a Walker apprentice and had also had training in Germany, assumed leadership of the firm in 2005. Since 2005 Walker have retained facilities in Brandon, Suffolk and in Devizes, Wiltshire.

'MUSIC AT BEAULIEU' is a registered charity (1080651). Over £170,000 has been disbursed since 'Music at Beaulieu' started. and the charity has helped the church in a wide range of matters musical such as overhauling the Walker organ, supplying music and equipment for the Church choir, audio equipment and made a substantial contribution to the building of the church hall.

MEMORIAL TABLET (left)to John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu (10 June 1866 - 30 March 1929), a British Conservative politician and promoter of motoring.

Please see the other part of this website here for more details of his motoring career and his interest in the Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

Montagu was the eldest son of Henry Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, second son of Walter Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch. His mother was the Hon. Cecily Susan, daughter of John Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 2nd Baron Wharncliffe.

He went to Eton College where he rowed, and shot for his school at Wimbledon. He then went to New College, Oxford and helped the New College boat to the Head of the River.

He rowed for the Oxford Etonians in the 1887 Grand Challenge Cup with Guy Nickalls and Douglas McLean although without success.

He worked for a year in the sheds of the London and South Western Railway and became a practical engineer.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu married firstly Lady Cecil Kerr, daughter of Schomberg Kerr, 9th Marquess of Lothian, in 1889. She died in September 1919, aged 53.

He married secondly Alice Pearl, daughter of Major Edward Barrington Crake, in 1920. There were children from both marriages.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu died in March 1929, aged 62, and was succeeded in the barony by his only son, Edward.

Lady Montagu of Beaulieu later remarried and died in April 1996, aged 101.

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