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Malmesbury Abbey & Gardens

Visited August 2020

Location Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes- Town Car Park
Facilities Cafe, Toilets








The site of Malmesbury Abbey has been in religious use since about the year 642. The Anglo-Saxon scholar and priest Aldhelm became the first Abbot of the Benedictine abbey in 675. By 935 the Abbey was of such importance that Alfred the Great's Grandson Athelstan was buried there, although his body was moved after the Norman conquest to prevent it from being desecrated. He was re-buried in the garden of the Abbots house, and this is the site of the modern day garden we visited. 






The Abbey still exists today, it is used as a church, but the monastic parts were demolished after the dissolution. The former abbots house is in what is now the Abbey House Gardens, which are open to the public. They span about five acres including a lake and woodland area.


The gardens are laid out in different 'rooms' which are separated by walls built from stone from the abbey- and also some of the archways in the garden were re-used after the partial demolition.





On the day we went there was a sculpture exhibition, with pieces displayed at various points around the garden, but this seemed to be for a fixed duration so may not be there in the future. There is a walk down to the river, with some interesting bridges and stepping stones spanning it, so you can cross from one side to the other at your leisure. 


Also of interest to children is the pet tortoise in the grounds, named Brutus (but she is female) she is in a pen and presumably wheeled around to different spots so keep an eye out. 


There is a cafe there and toilets on site. The town of Malmesbury has many other places to eat, and don't forget the Abbey is still in use as a church and can be visited as well. 





More info:  Abbey House Garden

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