2019: 400th Anniversary Year Celebrations (1619-2019)
During 2019 there were a number of events held at Abbot's Hospital to mark the 400th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Hospital.
We are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund without whom many of these events would not have been possible.
The Governors at Abbot’s Hospital invited residents and guests to a sneak preview of 2 sensational “Legacy” panels which were unveiled last Monday in the Guesten Hall. The tiled panels form part of a set of 4 and were created to mark the 400th Anniversary year since Abbot’s Hospital was founded in 1619 as a place of refuge for the elderly people of Guildford by the late Archbishop George Abbot.
Husband and wife team Liliana Montoya and Carlos España of Aluna Ceramics Studio designed the panels with the assistance of a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Ms Montoya and Mr España were chosen last spring to lead and deliver the Abbot’s Hospital Memorial Community Arts project. The art-educators and ceramics specialists have created 4 eye-catching designs that will be installed at a location in central Guildford next year.
Each panel depicts the history and local community involvement of Abbot’s Hospital over the last 4 centuries. Ms Montoya and Mr España worked with the Abbot’s Hospital residents and students from Wey Valley College and George Abbot School on design concepts and the children helped to create some of the tiles.
Mr Keith Childs, a recently retired Governor at Abbot’s Hospital, was delighted to unveil two of the wonderful panels in front of 45 Guests. The occasion is a fitting tribute to mark the culmination of the anniversary year which included a number of successful community events, including an exhibition at Guildford House Gallery and a short film.
The colourful tiled panels will go on public display in central Guildford early next year.
Choral Evensong at Holy Trinity Church
Reverend Robert Cotton welcomed residents, governors, guests and the community to a very special Choral Evensong at Holy Trinity Church on Sunday 17th November. The deeply moving occasion marked the founding of Abbot's Hospital 400 years ago. Tributes were made to our Founder, the late Archbishop George Abbot, and resident Valerie Charles was invited to lay a wreath on his tomb.
'George Abbot's Gift to Guildford'
400th Anniversary Exhibition
at Guildford House Gallery
ran from 28th September - 2nd November 2019 (the date was extended due to popular demand)
The 400th Anniversary year of Abbot's Hospital was celebrated with our exhibition 'George Abbot's Gift to Guildford' at Guildford House Gallery. Viewers were able to discover more about George Abbot, former Archbishop of Canterbury, and the wonderful legacy he left to the elderly people of Guildford in 1619. Featured some of the Abbot's Hospital treasures that are not usually on public display and a short film made over the summer was also shown. The running date was extended to 2nd November 2019 due to popular demand and family days and group tours were arranged.
'George Abbot's Gift to Guildford', our 400th Anniversary Film made by Chocolate Films over the summer, has now been released. The subtitled version of the film is available to view here:
Special guests enjoy Abbot's Hospital party
The 400th Anniversary year of Abbot’s Hospital was celebrated on Saturday 22nd June with a garden party for residents and their families within the picturesque walled garden.
Mr. Michael McKechnie, the then, Master of the Hospital, joined the governors to welcome families and friends to the party, which included a three-piece jazz band. They were joined by special guests the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey Mr Michael More-Molyneux, his wife, Mrs Sarah More-Molyneux, the Rt. Hon Anne Milton, then MP for Guildford, the Mayor of Guildford Cllr Richard Billington and the Mayoress, Lynda Billington.
Speakers paid tribute to the late Founder, Archbishop George Abbot, whose vision and foresight has provided the elderly people of Guildford with homes since its founding in 1619.
The Chairman of Abbot’s Hospital gave a touching speech, thanking Mr. McKechnie and the Warden, Nicole Clemaron, for their tireless work in looking after the residents and the building.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey explained that over the course of 400 years Abbot’s Hospital has been through a lot, including surviving two world wars: “Definitely the finest building in Guildford,” he said, “the ideals and objectives are still the same as 400 years ago.”
Mrs Sarah More-Molyneux cut the celebratory cake and after a tea arranged by The Promotional Edge Events company, the Lord Lieutenant unveiled an oil painting by portrait artist Jane Allison, featuring the residents. (Surrey Advertiser, 28th June 2019)