Lord Robens of Woldingham

As a generous donor to the Westminster Abbey restoration appeal Lord Robens of Woldingham, politician and industrialist, has a small stained glass window in the south west apsidal chapel of Henry VII's chapel in the Abbey. This was installed in 1997 and is by Alfred Fisher and Peter Archer of Chapel Studios. It depicts a rose and portcullis and the winding gear of a coal mine. He was also a Trustee, appointed by HRH Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, of the Westminster Abbey Trust which raised over 25 million pounds for the preservation of the Abbey fabric between 1973 and 1995. In the west window of the chapel, unveiled in 1995, his coat of arms can also be seen, with those of other donors, trustees and Abbey officials.

Alfred Robens was born on 18 December 1910 in Manchester, son of George and Edith. He became a Labour Member of Parliament and was a director of the Co-Operative Society. In Attlee's government he was Minister for Labour and National Service and shadow Foreign Secretary. In 1960 he was appointed chairman of the National Coal Board and served on many other boards including that of the Bank of England and Guy's Hospital. In 1961 he was created a Baron. His wife was Eva Powell and they had an adopted son. He died on 27th June 1999 and a memorial service was held for him at the Abbey on 7th October.

Further reading

A. Robens "Managing Great Britain Limited", 1977

A. Robens "Ten year stint", 1972

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


18th December 1910


Politician; philanthropist


Lady Chapel

Memorial Type


Material Type


Lord Robens of Woldingham
Lord Robens window

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster