Bath
Bath Abbey
At the Intersection of
Orange Grove & Cheap Street
Somerset BA1 1LT
   
In 1244 Bath and Wells shared Cathedral status. However, later Bishops preferred Wells and Bath Abbey gradually fell into disrepair.
 
When Bishop Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, visited Bath in 1499, he found the Abbey Church in ruins. He pledged that a large amount of the Priory income would be used in its rebuilding.
 
Restoration work on the ruins commenced utilising the restrained Perpendicular style and a cruciform configuration. The size of a small cathedral it seated approximately 1,200 people. It was the last great gothic church to be built in England.
 
Unfortunately, the new abbey was completed for only a few years before King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1539 with the church being stripped of all its treasures and left to rot.
 
Major Restoration Work
During the 1860s major restoration work was again started. The nave vault was added and the church returned to its original glory.
 
Magnificent Fan Vaulting & Huge Stained Glass Window
The Abbey’s fan vaulting is one of its most majestic features – it runs for the full length of the building. Do not miss the huge stained glass East window which depicts the story of the life of Jesus Christ.
 
There are a number of interesting monuments including a wall tablet to the flamboyant dandy, Richard 'Beau' Nash, Master of the Ceremonies in Bath in the 18th century. There is also a memorial to Isaac Pitman – the inventor of Pitman Shorthand.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:    External Link
 
USA & Australia Connection
Of particular interest to overseas visitors are the USA and Australian memorial tablets:
 
Monument to US Senator William Bingham, friend of Presidents Washington and Adams and founder, in 1781, of the Bank of Pennsylvania, the first bank in America. Bingham died while on a visit to Bath in 1804.
 
Monument to Captain Arthur Philip (later Admiral), the first governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia. He is buried in the nearby St Nicholas Church, Bathampton.
 
The exterior West front of the Abbey is quite unique. The famous carvings of angels ascending and descending from Heaven depict Bishop Oliver’s dream to pull down the ruined Norman Cathedral and commence the present Abbey.
 
In the churchyard are the Bath Abbey Heritage Vaults which are also worth a visit.
 
For Contact Details, Admission times & costs         
Website  Bath Abbey Information    External Link
 
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