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Abingdon Abbey, Abingdon, Berkshire

(51°40′16″N, 1°16′42″W)
Abingdon Abbey, Abingdon
SU 500 972
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
5 May 1990, 2 August 2009

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Feature Sets

Nothing of the abbey church remains in situ, and the surviving abbey buildings all postdate the 12thc. In the Abbey Gardens, where the church once stood, is an artificial ruin constructed of fragments from the site. Reset in the S wall of this are the voussoirs described below.


The abbey was founded in 675, and the church rebuilt after its destruction by the Danes by Bishop Aethelwold between 954 and 963. It is known to have been rebuilt again, largely under Abbots Rainald (1084-97) and Fabritius (1100-17), but Fabritius's church was not dedicated until 1239.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


The voussoirs formed part of an arch of considerable size. The best estimate, which is necessarily extremely speculative, is of the order of 8-9 m inner diameter, quite large enough for the main arcade of the abbey church, or even for a crossing arch.


Abingdon Chronicle.

M. Biddle, G. Lambrick, JNL Myres, 'The Early History of Abingdon, Berkshire and its Abbey', Medieval Archaeology 12 (1968), 26-68.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966 54-56.

J. Slater, 'A Sketch of the History of the Abbey of Abingdon', Berkshire Archaeological and Architectural Society Transactions, 1880-81, 51-62.