Bath Abbey, Bath

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    Bath Abbey
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    Bath Abbey
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    Bath Abbey
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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    BATH ABBEY

    by balhannah Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    Bath Abbey
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    Bath Abbey is the last of the great medieval churches of England.

    Would you believe, that three different Churches have stood on the site of this Abbey!

    # An Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church dating from 757, pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England soon after 1066.
    # A massive Norman cathedral begun about 1090. It was larger than the monastery could afford to maintain and by the end of the 15th century was in ruins.
    # The present Abbey church founded in 1499, ruined after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of Henry VIII.

    The Abbey Church has been used for worship for over 1000years. It is a beautiful Church, and if you wish, you can take a guided tour of the tour on any day but a SUNDAY.
    Make sure your fit, as there are 212 steps to the top of the tower to see a panoramic and unrivalled view of the city.

    The fully guided tour takes 45 -50 minutes and includes standing on top of the Abbeys vaulted ceiling, sitting behind the clock face, seeing the Abbey bells and a birds eye view of the World Heritage City of Bath.

    Tickets in 2014 cost £6 for adults; £3 for children (5 – 14) and are available from the Abbey shop on the day only. Children must be at least 5 years old and accompanied by a responsible adult
    January to March 11am - 3pm on the hour
    April to August... 10am - 5pm on the hour
    September and October 10am - 4pm on the hour
    November 11am - 3pm on the hour
    December 11am - 3pm on the hour
    Saturdays ...Every half hour as above

    2014 - ADMISSION TO THE ABBEY IS BY.... Donation of £2.50 per adult.
    ENTRY TIMES
    Monday 9.30am - 6.00pm
    Tuesday to Saturday 9.00am - 6.00pm
    Sunday 1.00 – 2.30pm and 4.30 - 5.30pm

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by spidermiss Updated Jun 23, 2012

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    Bath Abbey
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    Visiting the Abbey was the highlight of my trip! It's a perfect place to appreciate the architectural beauty and contemplate in peace in a beautiful setting! The Abbey including the valuted fan ceiling was commissioned during Queen Elizabeth I's reign, late 1500s. You can able to take a Tower Tour (at additional charge (5GBP) and available Monday to Saturday) to appreciate the Abbey's interior and climb 212 steps up the tower to see Bath's skyline.

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  • tvor's Profile Photo

    Historic Abbey

    by tvor Written Aug 5, 2011
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    There had been a church on this spot since the 8th century. A Norman Cathedral predated the current Abbey which dates to the 15th century. It was pulled down in the Dissolution but rebuilt and reopened in 1611. The Abbey church is famous as the spot where King Edgar I was crowned king of all England, the first all-encompassing king, in 973.

    The stone used is a pale stone that appears white inside the abbey but is a golden colour outside. The ceilings soar high and the stained glass windows are mainly tall perpendicular ones, rather than "rose" window style. There are a number of monuments inside and there is a museum in the vaults. You can also tour the towers for a price. The fan vaulting surrounds various heraldic crests.

    There is no cost to visit the abbey though there are donation boxes. The tower tour costs 6 pounds and the vault museum has a charge too though in 2011, that museum is closed for restoration. There is wheelchair access to the Abbey and an accessible toilet available. No wheelchair access to the tower.

    There is a Christmas market in the abbey square in early December, worth checking out.

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  • King_Golo's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by King_Golo Updated Feb 4, 2011
    The Fan Vault
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    Bath Abbey may look like a cathedral, but it isn't. A cathedral is the principal church of a diocese, and for whatever reason Bath Abbey wasn't important enough to become that. Instead Wells' majestic church was chosen.

    Nonetheless, Bath Abbey is a must if you're in the area. Completed in 1156, the church fell into a state of dilapidation over the centuries as it was simply too big for the monastery to maintain. It was thus rebuilt in the 16th century so that it celebrated its 500th birthday only a decade ago. Bath Abbey with its marvellous fan vaulting is a great example for a Perpendicular style church. Similarly interesting is the "ladder to heaven" on the outside of the church. Angels ascend to heaven - and descend down again.

    While the church officially does not charge an entry fee, the staff at the door is demanding a "voluntary" £3.

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    Bath Abbey

    by grayfo Written Mar 24, 2010

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    West Facade

    The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is still an Anglican parish church, but was once a Benedictine monastery. Founded in 1499, the Abbey stands on the site of an earlier Norman Cathedral and the original Abbey Church built in the 8th century. The present building occupying only the nave of the great Norman fabric, was begun around 1500 and completed in 1572.

    Monday to Saturday: 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
    Sunday: 1 pm to 2.30 pm & 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm

    Tickets cost £5 for adults; £2.50 for children (5 – 14) and are available from the Abbey shop on the day only.

    February 2010

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  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo

    A Fantastic looking Building

    by Myfanwe Written Mar 11, 2010

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    Bath Abbey
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    Bath Abbey is a great looking building and forms the centre-piece of the City. Founded in 1499, it stands on the site of an earlier Norman Cathedral and the original Abbey Church built in the 8th century.

    We didn't go inside on our visit to Bath but on looking at some interior pictures, I wish we had & it's definitely on our itinerary for our next visit!

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    Bath Abbey

    by Balam Written Mar 2, 2010

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    Bath Abbey
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    By the 15th century the original abbey church had fallen into a state of disrepair and 1n 1500 the then Bishop of Bath decided to rebuild it but on a smaller scale.
    Sadly the new church was completed just a few years before the monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539 and the abbey church again fell into a state of disrepair until it was restored as the city's parish church in the Elizabethan period, when the city started to become popular as a spa once again

    Now the Abbey is in the centre of the community and of the cultural life in the city, It is considered to be an outstanding example of gothic architecture, The Abbeys heratige vaults have an exhibition that comemorates the history of christian worship at the Abbey from Roman times to the present day and offers a insight into the importance of religion in the City's history. The museum also displays artifacts that have been found during archeological excavations that include a skeleton thought to be around 800 years old.

    Officialy there is no admission charge as it is a church but imediatly opposite the entrance there is a counter selling books and taking in a 'Suggested donation', making it difficult if not almost impossible to go in with out paying. Non English speaking visitors would automaticaly presume there is a charge as it is made to look like there is.

    Church Opening Times MON-SAT 9.00-4.30 pm SUN 1.00-2.30 pm & 4.30-5.30 pm

    Vaults Heritage Museum Open Monday - Saturday 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    For My Next Visit!

    by johngayton Updated Sep 22, 2009

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    The Jacob's Ladders

    Bath Abbey's official motto is "where earth and heaven meet" which is pretty apt when you see the Jacob's Ladders on the West Front with their angels scurrying heavenwards.

    The abbey has a very varied history with the present building being the third edifice of Christian worship to have graced this site.

    The original abbey was built in the 8th century as a local parish church and then developed as a cathedral by the Normans during the 12th century. When the cathederal diocese became that of Bath and Wells it was Wells that got the magnificent cathederal whilst Bath's was left to fall into disrepair.

    In 1499 the then bishop of Bath and Wells, Oliver King, visited to find the church in ruins and tasked the local priory to have it rebuilt. However no sooner was it rebuilt when Henry VIII enacted the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the abbey was looted of its valuables and once again fell into disrepair.

    Elizabeth I then took up the reins and in 1574 decreed that a national fund should be set up for the abbey's restoration and by some accounts the then bishop actually funded the roofing of the nave out of his own pocket!

    Following its 17th century temporary rebuild the roofing of the nave was finally completed in 1860 and apart from a bit of tidying up here and there the building is pretty much the abbey as it now stands.

    Following on from the "where earth and heaven meet" theme, one thing that does look especially worth doing is the "Tower Tour" which is a 45-50 minute guided tour offering a unique insiders view of the abbey as well as great panoramas from the top. So that's on my list for my next visit!

    Website below has loads of useful info.

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  • jusdenise93's Profile Photo

    A Medieval Church

    by jusdenise93 Updated Jul 19, 2009

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    The Amazing exterior
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    Highly recommended, the Abbey's interior and exterior structure is truly detailed and amazing!

    Begun in 1499 by Bishop King, this is England's last great medieval church, dissolved in 1539 and now serving as a parish church.

    It's free to go in the Abbey (they ask for a donation of £2.50) but to go up the tower is £5.00. Watch out though, because sometimes it does get narrow and you do have to duck round a few pieces of masonry

    You start by climbing a very narrow staircase, up to the bell ringing room ( where you can ring the bell yourself) and the tour guide will explain the history behind the different ways they ring the bells, you also get to go behind the clock face.

    After that they take you up another set of winding steps to the top of the tower, where there are some great views across bath For 5 pounds, the tour is worth every penny!

    The tour lasts about an hour.

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  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    medieval cathedral

    by uglyscot Updated May 22, 2009

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    Bath Abbey
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    Bath Abbey is the last of England's great medieval churches. Building began in 1499. The West Front is unique as it depicts the dream that inspired the Abbey's founder, Bishop Oliver King, to pull down the ruined Norman cathedral and raise the present building on its foundations.

    Three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey: an Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church dating from 757, pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England soon after 1066. A massive Norman cathedral begun about 1090 but was difficult to maintain, so by the end of the 15th century it was in ruins. The present Abbey church was ruined after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of Henry VIII.

    The Abbey's tower is open for guided tours everyday except Sunday. They begin on the hour and last about 50 minutes, Monday - Saturday from 10 am -4.00pm. Climb the 212 steps to the top of the tower and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Tickets, priced £5, or £2.50 for a child. are on sale in the Bath Abbey Shop.

    Opening Times
    Opening 1 Apr 2009 - 31 Oct 2009
    Day Opening Times
    Monday 09:00 - 18:00
    Tuesday 09:00 - 18:00
    Wednesday 09:00 - 18:00
    Thursday 09:00 - 18:00
    Friday 09:00 - 18:00
    Saturday 09:00 - 18:00
    Sunday 13:00 - 14:30
    Bank Holiday 09:00 - 18:00
    Opening 1 Nov 2009 - 31 Mar 2010
    Day Opening Times
    Monday 09:00 - 16:30
    Tuesday 09:00 - 16:30
    Wednesday 09:00 - 16:30
    Thursday 09:00 - 16:30
    Friday 09:00 - 16:30
    Saturday 09:00 - 16:30
    Sunday 13:00 - 14:30
    * Opening times vary during the year due to services, events and concerts. The Abbey is closed Christmas Day and Good Friday, but open for services - visitors are most welcome to attend. The Abbey is open Easter Saturday and Easter Monday, 09:00 to 18:00.

    A donation of £2.50 is welcomed .
    There is a gift shop.

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  • hindu1936's Profile Photo

    Turkish baths in the abbey

    by hindu1936 Written May 16, 2009

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    the stained glass
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    The amazing thing about Bath Abbey is that there was noone collecting 5-12 pounds to get in the door and 5 pounds for taking photos. It was in fact free. The stained glass was good, the architecture was usual but the atmosphere of the church was just that--a church--a place to worship and not a tourist fleecing operation as are most of the rest of the abbeys and cathedrals in England.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Bath's cathedral church

    by toonsarah Updated Mar 15, 2009

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    Bath Abbey - West Front
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    In most of southern England’s cathedral cities the cathedral sits a little apart from the bustle of the city, screened from it by a green and peaceful “close” as the surrounding leafy lawns are known. But here in Bath the Abbey is tucked in among the shops and houses of the city centre so that you come across it suddenly, turning a corner to see its great West Front rising above you.

    There has been a church on this site for twelve and a half centuries. The Abbey as we see it today was founded in 1499, was ruined after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of Henry VIII, and was finally completed in 1611. Prior to that was a massive Norman cathedral which had been allowed to fall into ruins as it was too large for the monastery it served, and before that an Anglo Saxon church which had been pulled down by the Normans.

    The West Front represents the dream of Bishop Oliver King that led him, in 1499, to demolish the ruined Norman cathedral and replace it with the present Abbey. I loved the little angels climbing the stone ladders (photo 2), but couldn’t find out any details of this dream in my research.

    There is officially no charge to visit inside the Abbey, though it would take a little nerve perhaps to ignore the person who sits at the counter just inside the door offering a leaflet in return for the “suggested donation” of £2.50. And with the extensive costs of maintaining the building it’s hard to begrudge this relatively small payment. Inside you will find an impressive space with elegant fan vaulted ceilings (see photo 3), beautiful stained glass windows and a few interesting monuments. I especially liked the east window, photo 4, which depicts 56 scenes from the life of Christ (a similar window in the West Front shows scenes from the Old Testament).

    With more time I would have been tempted to take a tour of the Abbey's tower, which is open every day except Sunday. Visitors are promised a panoramic and unrivalled view of the city as reward for climbing the 212 steps to the top of the tower, but the dull weather on the day of my visit made this a less enticing promise than it would otherwise have been, though I would have liked to sit inside the Abbey's clock face! These tours run every hour and cost £5.

    At night the Abbey is beautifully illuminated as you can sort of see from my 5th photo.

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    The Abbey

    by mallyak Written Sep 23, 2008

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    The Abbey Church of Saint Peter, Bath, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is an Anglican parish church and a former Benedictine monastery in Bath, Somerset, England. Founded in the 7th century, reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries, it is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in the West Country.

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    Bath Abbey

    by Anjin-san Written Aug 22, 2008

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    The Abbey Church of Saint Peter, Bath
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    The Abbey Church of Saint Peter, Bath, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is an Anglican parish church and a former Benedictine monastery in Bath, Somerset, England. Founded in the 7th century, reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries, it is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in the West Country.

    The church is cruciform in plan, seating approximately 1,200 people. It is used for religious services, secular civic ceremonies and lectures. The abbey is a grade I listed building and is an active place of worship, with hundreds of congregation members and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

    The building contains monuments to several notable people and is noted for music and includes two organs and a peal of ten bells.

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    Bath Abbey

    by cruisegirl4life Written Jul 30, 2008

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    Bathy Abbey
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    The Bath Abbey is hard to miss as it sits right in the heart of Bath. The architecture of the building is wonderful and you have to wonder how this was built so very long ago. As we approached the Abbey from the back (near our hotel) we were very impressed and snapping pictures against the overcast sky. Then you come around to the side and see the statute of the woman pouring water, better, better. Finally, you come around to the front and you see the Abbey in all of its glory. I was trying to take it all in at once, from the Tree of Life carved on the sides, the ladders showing angels ascending and being rejected from heaven, from the damaged statute on the left, the stained glass, it's almost too much. We also were fortunate enough to have a wedding being performed at the Abbey while we were there so not only did we see the Abbey, but we were able to hear the organ and the bells. To imagine this hundreds of years ago, standing on stones that pilgrams were on, it takes your breath away!

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