Gerard Manley Hopkins - Westminster Abbey
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.985 W 000° 07.636
30U E 699386 N 5709314
Quick Description: In the floor of Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey is a memorial plaque to the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins is not buried here but id interred in Bublin in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/7/2020 12:18:05 PM
Waymark Code: WM13G9H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NCDaywalker
Views: 1

Long Description:

The wording inscribed into the plaque reads:

Esse Quam Videri
Priest & poet
'Immortal Diamond'
Buried at Glasnevin, Dublin19-1880
Buried at Highgate

The first condition of
human goodness is some
thing to love; the second
something to reverence

The Westminster Abbey website has an article about Gerard Manley Hopkins that advises:

A memorial stone to Gerard Manley Hopkins, poet, was unveiled on 8th December 1975 in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey by the Duke of Norfolk. Sir John Gielgud read extracts from his works. The sculptor was David Peace and the stone sits between those to Henry James and John Masefield. The quote on the stone comes from "That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire.." and a tower in flames is shown.

The Latin sections of the inscription can be translated: "To the greater glory of God" and "To be rather than to be seen".

He was born on 28th July 1844 at Stratford in Essex, a child of Manley Hopkins and his wife Catherine (Smith). He was educated at Highgate school and Oxford university. At first he thought of becoming an artist like two of his brothers but his interest changed to languages and poetry. He became a Roman Catholic and joined the Jesuit order of the Society of Jesus. In 1877 he was ordained priest and studied or taught in Wales and at Stonyhurst college in Lancashire. Many of his poems were sonnets and his best known poem is probably The Wreck of the Deutschland, inspired by the ship of this name which sank in 1875 with some nuns aboard. He held the chair of Greek and Latin at University College Dublin where he died on 8th June 1889 of typhoid fever. His grave is in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin. His friend Robert Bridges published an edition of his poems in 1918 but Hopkins was not really recognised as a major poet until the 1960s.


With the re-opening of Westminster Abbey after Covid-19 lockdown photography, for private use, has been allowed in most areas of the Abbey when services are not taking place (see here). There is an entry fee payable to enter the Abbey that is currently £18 for an adult (October, 2020).

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: In Poets' Corner within Westminster Abbey.

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