Bath Abbey has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,200 years and the Abbey remains very much a living church today with services taking place throughout the entire week.
With magnificent stained glass windows, columns of honey-gold stone and some of the finest fan vaulting in the world which create an extraordinary experience of light and space, Bath Abbey is a must visit.
Since 757 AD, three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey: first, there was an Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church, pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England soon after 1066. Then, a massive Norman cathedral was begun about 1090 but was larger than the monastery could afford to maintain and by the end of the 15th century was in ruins. Finally, the present Abbey church was founded in 1499, the last of the great medieval churches of England.
After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of King Henry VIII, the Abbey lay in ruins for more than 70 years. The valuable parts of the building had all been taken away, for example the beautiful stained glass windows were ripped out and the roof was stripped for the lead. It wasn’t until 1616, that much of the building we see today was repaired and in use as a parish church.
Tower Tours (every day except Sunday) offer the chance to go behind the scenes and enjoy stunning views of the city. You will also get to visit the Abbey bell and ringing chamber, sit behind the clock face and stand on top of the Abbey’s vaulted ceiling.
Local attractions and things to do in the area may not be open all year round and may require pre-booking. Please check the attraction website before visiting to avoid disappointment.