Explore the ruins of Abbottsbury Abbey during your holiday in Dorset. Benedictine monastery dating back to 1044.
The remains of Abbotsbury Abbey are a must visit for any West Dorset Leisure Holidays guest that is interested in history. The abbey was founded in 1044 and served an important role in the local area. Just one wall and a fireplace remains and it is thought to date back to the 13th or 14th century. Historians think it once belonged to a small cluster of buildings surrounding the chapel within the wider monastery grounds.
The Abbey of St Peter Ruins
Despite its prevalence in the local area, little is known about Abbotsbury Abbey’s early years. Unfortunately, much of it was demolished when Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of monasteries. In the years that followed, the stone was used for other projects around the village and the abbey fell into ruin. Thankfully, the Tithe Barn, which was once the longest in England was spared and can still be seen during your trip. This building is beautiful to photographs,
The benedictine community dedicated their life to praying, studying and tending the land. It is also thought that they earned an income from Abbotsbury Swannery, when swans were considered a delicacy. The swannery is now a nature reserve dedicated to the protection of swans. It’s a great day out for all the family, but especially popular with little ones.
Things to do in Abbotsbury
During your visit we highly recommend making the walk to the top of Chapel Hill to look inside St Catherine’s Chapel. From the top you’ll be treated to magnificent views over the village, the Fleet Lagoon, Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland in the distance. Other attractions nearby include Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens and a small selection of shops and galleries. There are also a couple of cafes and a pub where you can enjoy a bite to eat during your time exploring this quaint Dorset village.
Getting to Abbotsbury Abbey
Abbotsbury Abbey is now owned and managed by English Heritage. It is free to walk around the site and can be accessed throughout the day. There is a small pay and display car park nearby.