Bath Abbey, Bath

4.5 out of 5 stars 71 Reviews

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  • Bath Abbey
    Bath Abbey
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Bath Abbey
    Bath Abbey
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Bath Abbey
    Bath Abbey
    by Jim_Eliason
  • miso80's Profile Photo

    In the heart of Bath...

    by miso80 Updated May 18, 2006

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    ...lies an old church, that dates back to 1499. Bath Abbey is an active parish church in the Church of England. It's not the most beautiful church you'll see..but if you happen to pass by it, you can walk in, place a small donation for the church (kind of an entrance fee), and look at the church's interior. It has colored glass above above the alter, and an interesting ceiling, that would make for some pretty pictures.

    There's also a little souvenir shop, in which you can buy post cards of Bath, and Bath Abbey..Personally, I loved the cards that showed an aerial view of the City of Bath, and the church's exterior ..beautiful!

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    Bath Abbey

    by aukahkay Written Mar 15, 2006

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    West Front of Bath Abbey
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    Bath Abbey stands at the heart of the city of Bath next to the Roman Baths. The present Abbey church is founded in 1499 and is one of the great medieval churches of England. Inside the Abbey, an overhead, a fan-vaulted ceiling, designed in the early 16th century, runs the full length of the building. At the East end, above the altar, stained glass in the huge window illustrates the story of the life of Jesus Christ.
    The Abbey is the largest concert venue in Bath and, in addition to events sponsored by Bath Abbey Music Society, hosts many concerts during the year, notably during the Bath International Festival and the Bath Mozartfest.

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Inside glory

    by iandsmith Updated Nov 16, 2005

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    Behind the scenes, a lot of work.

    Built originally by William Hill in 1868, the organ of Bath Abbey has evolved with successive rebuilds over a period of 130 years. Early rebuilds involved changes in position and enlargement of the original specification but original materials were incorporated. It reached its present location in the Norman and Beard rebuild of 1914 when it was clothed in the impressive neo-baroque case by Sir Thomas Jackson that you see today. The Positive case, designed by Alan Rome, and a gift of the Friends of Bath Abbey, was installed at the rebuild of 1972 by Hill, Norman and Beard. In this period of rebuilds the organ had grown from a modest instrument of 41 stops to 67 stops. Wind pressures had been altered and new actions had been added alongside existing actions. When the people who first inspected the organ with a view to restoration in May 1990 they discovered an instrument that was compromised in musical performance by its variety of key actions, that was difficult to maintain due to difficult access to many sections and suffering breakdown in many of its older mechanisms. In consultation with the Abbey authorities the decision was taken to undertake a complete reconstruction of the organ with new key action throughout and a remodeled layout. Such drastic measures were necessary to ensure future reliability. The reconstruction of the organ has involved both restoration in the strict sense and entirely new work.
    The organ at Bath Abbey evolved stylistically over a period of 130 years. In the reconstruction society responsible were at pains to respect this history whilst creating a new internal structure that ensures reliability and longevity.
    By any standards it was a huge undertaking, now completed.

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Those lovely stones

    by iandsmith Updated Nov 16, 2005

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    One of the many on the walls of Bath Abbey
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    This is a memorial stone to Sir Philip Frowde who, by this account, was a busy boy. Not only did he have time to go off and fight in wars, he also managed to have three wives in his lifetime who sired him seven children all told. I love trying to decipher the olde English script on them. He died in 1674, that is plain to see.

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    The Aussie connection

    by iandsmith Updated Nov 16, 2005

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    Memorial to Phillip

    This is the memorial plaque to Governor Arthur Phillip, a man who had an extraordinary life that included serving in both the British and Portugese navies and farming in Hampshire in between.
    Then, in October 1786, Phillip was appointed captain of the ship Sirius and appointed Governor-designate of New South Wales, the proposed British penal colony on the east coast of Australia, on the other side of the world. The appointment seems to have been the work of George Rose, Under-Secretary of the Treasury and a neighbour of Phillip in Hampshire. He would have known of Phillip's experience in farming.
    After his Australian experience, due to poor diet in the new colony where they often had to ship out for food, he returned to England suffering ill health but, his health gradually recovered and in 1796 he went back to sea, holding a series of commands and responsible posts in the wars against the French. In January 1799 he became a Rear-Admiral. In 1805, aged 67, he retired from the Navy with the rank of Admiral, and spent most of the rest of his life at Bath. He continued to correspond with friends in New South Wales and to promote the colony's interests with government officials. He died at Bath in 1814 after supposedly falling off a balcony in his wheelchair. I wonder what modern forensics would have made of that?
    Phillip was buried in St Nicholas's Church, Bathampton. Forgotten for many years, the grave was discovered in 1897 and the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, had it restored. The monument to Phillip in Bath Abbey Church was unveiled in 1937

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  • Bath Abbey

    by grantravel Updated Nov 14, 2005
    Bath Abbey with the Roman Baths on the right
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    The Bath Abbey is an awesome sight, soaring above the centre of town. It's an integral piece of Bath's architecture. The Abbey is one of Bath's parish churches on the site on which Christian worship has taken place for over one thousand years. You can enter the Abbey for a small fee and flash photography is permitted inside, unfortunately it was closed when we were there. I'm sure it's just as magnificent inside as it is on the outside.

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    Can't walk under this ladder

    by sourbugger Written Sep 21, 2005

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    Jacob's ladder, Bath

    Although not considered to be one of the 'great' ecclesiastical buildings of England (such as Sailsbury, Durham, Winchester, Westminster), try to at least see the fine carving on the outside of the Abbey, known as "Jacob's ladder".

    According to a story in the Old Testament, Jacob had a dream about a ladder which stretched up to heaven. There are angels climbing the ladder, and a figure of Christ at the top.

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  • psychocy's Profile Photo

    You Can't Miss Bath Abbey

    by psychocy Written Aug 5, 2005

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    Beautiful Bath Abbey

    Bath Abbey is smack dab in the middle of Bath and you really just can't miss it. The impressively large and ornate church is classified dates to circa 1499, although churches have stood on this spot since ancient times. It is advertised as the last great gothic church in England. Shaped like a cross and decorated with oddities like angels climbing ladders, the Abbey is worth visiting. It's right next to the Roman Baths and other sites of interest - you can do it all in a day or two. There is, unfortunately, an admission fee - they say it's by donation and then tell you how much you need to donate. I'd have donated more if I wasn't told how much to donate, but that kind of puts me off. Still, it's affordable (just a few quid) and worth going in for a look.

    The Bath Abbey Heritage Vaults are under the church and only charge a pound admission, but I didn't get a chance to go into it so I can't recommend it, although it sounded interesting.

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  • american_tourister's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by american_tourister Written May 21, 2005
    Quiet please

    Christians have lived in Bath since about 300 AD. The Abbey is built on a site where the Normans first erected a temple in about 1100 AD. The Abbey itself was constructed beginning in 1499.

    It has had many revisions but the prime design remains the same. I walked in and was greeted by a rector who to my surorise was an American. he was stationed near Bath in WWII and flew Martin B-26 Marader Bombers. After he retired in the USA he moved there as it was the most peaceful place he could think of.

    I can see why he did. The Abbey is a wonderful place as is all of Bath.

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  • Rachael71's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by Rachael71 Written Apr 7, 2005

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    Angels on the Abbey

    I just love the angels on the outside of Bath Abbey, climbing the ladder up to Heaven. The design of the Abbey apparently came to the Bishop in a dream in 1499, when God told him to demolish the Norman Abbey that existed at that time, and replace it with the structure we see today.

    It is apparently the only Tudor Catherdral in England, but my visits to Bath have been so brief that I have not yet had the opportunity to see inside. Definitely next time!

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  • Markyreid's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by Markyreid Written Mar 6, 2005
    Inside the Abbey

    The Abbey in Bath is definately worth a visit if you have not seen Churches of the this scale before. The entry fee is a donation of 2 pound 50. The walls are covered in memorials to influential of the pass and them alone could keep you occupied for hours if that sort of thing interests you. For me, the stained glass windows were spectacular. Unfortunately there was no guide on site to tell the story of each of the windows.

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  • joanj's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by joanj Updated Jan 10, 2005

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    I only wish when I visited Bath Abbey that I took my camera with me, but that was pre - VT days.

    In 1497 Henry V11 paid a visit to Bath during his stay at Longleat and two years later the present Abbey was founded under the direction of his friend, Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1495 - 1503)

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey

    by mvtouring Written Jan 4, 2005

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    Bath Abbey

    Bath abbey was first built in 1495 and finished in 1606. It occupies the ancient foundation of the original conventual church erected by King Osric in 676.

    The courtyard in front of the building is one of the most vivid parts of the city with coffeeshops and restaurants.

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  • birchy99's Profile Photo

    Bath Abbey from the Roman Baths

    by birchy99 Written Dec 28, 2004

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    If I remember correctly, one can circle the main bath pool from on top. This view of the Abbey was taken from on high. Looking down was the main pool, which at that time was rather, I could say scummy looking, but I wouldn't want to say that. I've heard that some renovation has taken place since our visit.

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  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo

    High Street and Bath Abbey

    by pedersdottir Updated Dec 13, 2004

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    Catch a tour here

    Bath Abbey was built over the site of the Roman temple to Minerva. For its size, the interior is surprisingly 'light and bright', as a result of the walls. They contain nearly 60% glass! The ceiling tracery further contributes to the sense that the interior is filled with heavenly illumination. The Bath Abbey Music Society schedules periodic mid-day proms (concerts) on Wednesdays. Saturday evening organ recitals offer the visitor an opportunity to absorb the architecture while enjoying the superb acoustics.

    For a 'sights and sounds' exploration into the Abbey's history look for the rear terrace, descend the stairs, and visit the Bath Abbey Heritage Vaults. They are open Monday-Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

    Located across from the Parade Gardens and next to the Roman Baths, the Abbey stands in the heart of Bath. From this central location it is easy to catch a taxi or a tour bus.

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