“In a Monastery Garden” – Abingdon Abbey Buildings
Visit one of Abingdon’s lesser-known treasures, the remaining domestic buildings of the medieval Abingdon Abbey. Explore the “pop-up” Monastery Herb Garden, to see herbs used by the monks for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Talk to the beekeeper about his bees and honey, a medieval wonder food.
Abingdon Abbey was one of the most cultured and wealthy monasteries of England. It welcomed many royal visitors over 500 years to 1536, when the Abbey Church and most of the rest of the abbey precinct was demolished by order of King Henry VIII. The domestic buildings were sold as commercial premises and over the next 400 years were successively a corn mill, a brewery and eventually slum dwellings. They were saved from demolition in 1944 by The Friends of Abingdon and after the first 10 years of repair and restoration they opened to the public; they have been open ever since, but the repair and restoration work continues. More information about the Buildings and their history can be found on our website.
The Buildings will be open to wander around at your leisure or with a guide. Refreshments will be available in the Long Gallery. The Monastery Herb Garden will be open in the Millstream Garden on both days. Representatives from a wine collective will be there to talk about English wine-making and offer tastings, and on Sunday afternoon a beekeeper will be available in the North Garden, with a glass beehive and to answer questions about honey and the life of bees.