Waverley Abbey Pageant

Pageant type

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Place: Grounds of the Abbey of St Mary at Waverley (Farnham) (Farnham, Surrey, England)

Year: 1978

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 1


15 July at 2.30pm, 1978

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant [Pageant Master]: Livermore, William
  • Commemorative Sales: Ronnie Broughton
  • Amplification: Richard Chilvers
  • Music: David Dennis
  • Commemorative Brochure and Publicity: Gordon Hartman
  • Steward: George Hurdle
  • Liturgical Adviser: Richard North
  • Treasurer: Angus Smart
  • Rev. Paul Jennings
  • Rev. Nigel Nicholson

Names of executive committee or equivalent


Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Livermore, William

Names of composers


Numbers of performers

The performers were school children.

Financial information

Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

850th anniversary of the foundation and 700th anniversary of the dedication of the Abbey of St Mary at Waverley.

Audience information

  • Grandstand: Not Known
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events

There was a service in the Abbey.

Pageant outline


Scene 1: The First Monks Arrive

Scene 2: The Monks and Lay-Brothers at Work, 12th and 13th Centuries

Scene 3: Visitors to Waverley Abbey, 12th, 13th and 14th Centuries

Scene 4: Violence at Waverley Abbey, about 1238

Soldiers burst in and arrest a shoemaker wrongly accused of murder, seeking sanctuary. The abbot appealed to the King, the man was returned to the abbey and the soldiers were arrested and flogged in the churchyard of Farnham Parish Church.

Scene 5: Previous Celebrations at Waverley Abbey in 1278 and 1928

Thanksgiving services in 1278 and 1928 are re-enacted.

Scene 6: The Present

Key historical figures mentioned


Musical production

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Book of words


Other primary published materials


Farnham Council of Churches: Programme for Pageant and Order of Service for 850th Anniversary of the Foundation and 700th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Abbey of St Mary at Waverley. Farnham, 1978.

References in secondary literature

  • BBC Website, Domesday Reloaded, ‘Waverley Abbey’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday/dblock/GB-484000-144000/page/18 (accessed 1 June 2016).

Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Copy of programme in Surrey History Centre, Woking, reference 7519/File 4, and newspaper cuttings, reference 7154/Box2.

Sources used in preparation of pageant



This was a small-scale church pageant of the 1970s, performed by local schoolchildren. Its focus was solely on the history of Waverley Abbey.


How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Waverley Abbey Pageant’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1236/