Bath Abbey was the first European Cathedral that my mom and I visited and it blew us away with its size and beauty.
The location of the Abbey has been the site of Christian worship for over a thousand years.
It was first a monastery from 757AD until it was destroyed by Norman conquerors who then built a Norman cathedral in 1090. By the late 15th century this cathedral was in ruins and the present Abbey was built beginning in 1499 after the Bishop, Oliver King said that he had a dream where angels descended from and and ascended to heaven inspiring him to build the new Abbey church.
It would be the last great medieval cathedral to be built in England.
The first King of England, King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973.
In 1539, the dissolution of the monasteries by orer of King Henry the 8th led to the Abbey being in ruins for over 70 years. On January 27, 1539 Prior Holloway and 18 monks surrendered the Priory to the officials sent from the King and signed the Deed of Dissolution. The Abbey, other buildings, and the land were then sold.
In 1560, Edmund Colthurst asked the City Corporation to consider using the Abbey as a parish church. It was still in ruins with walls fallen in and no roof on the nave. In 1574 Queen Elizabeth the first granted them permission to fundraise for the Abbey.
The restoration was completed in 1611. It then began to be used as a parish church.
Through the years improvements were made, things were added and changed.
The Bath Blitz occured on April 25-27th in 1942. 400 people were killed in the city and 872 wounded. The Great East window and all of the Abbey's north side windows were blown out.
In 1948 they began to raise money to repair the damage. It took many years to raise the funds and complete.
You can feel all of this history as you walk around the Abbey and there are so many more stories and history to learn when you visit.
Check out their website here.
And check out the post on Gingham Owl about our visit to Bath Abbey here.