Abingdon Abbey Buildings

ABINGDON ABBEY BUILDINGS
ABINGDON ABBEY BUILDINGS

Welcoming visitors since the Middle Ages

PRECIOUS HERITAGE SITE
PRECIOUS HERITAGE SITE

at the heart of the ancient town of Abingdon-on-Thames

VITAL COMMUNITY ASSET
VITAL COMMUNITY ASSET

hosting a range of social events, festivals, concerts and plays

ROMANTIC HISTORIC ATMOSPHERE
ROMANTIC HISTORIC ATMOSPHERE

perfect for your wedding

Welcome to Abingdon Abbey Buildings

a place at the heart of the history of the ancient town of Abingdon-on-Thames

Precious Heritage Site: the History of the Buildings

at the heart of the ancient town of Abingdon-on-Thames
Read more » "Precious Heritage Site: the History of the Buildings"

Vital Community Asset: About the Abbey Buildings

hosting a range of social events, festivals, concerts and plays
Read more » "Vital Community Asset: About the Abbey Buildings"

Weddings at the Abbey Buildings

a romantic historic atmosphere, perfect for your special day
Read more » "Weddings at the Abbey Buildings"

Visiting the Abbey Buildings

offering tours for groups and schools, as well as self-guided tours
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The Checker

Monastic foundations

In the Middle Ages, Abingdon Abbey was one of the richest monastic foundations in the country, and regularly welcomed royalty and the nobility. But in 1538 it became one of the first victims of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. The ecclesiastical buildings, including the great abbey church of St Mary, were demolished and the masonry was used as building material. All that remained were the abbey gateway and its adjacent buildings and the domestic buildings.

Weddings

Standing the test of time

The domestic buildings of the abbey, today’s Abbey Buildings, survived because of their commercial value. The quality of craftsmanship of these robust buildings is evident in the magnificent timber roofs and stonework, dating from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. They have truly stood the test of time, going through many changes of use from corn mill, to granary, to brewery and eventually to housing.

Unicorn Theatre

Disrepair and … demolition?

The Buildings faced another crisis in the 1940s when they had fallen into disrepair and were scheduled for demolition. They were saved by the founders of The Friends of Abingdon and are now recognised as the most important heritage buildings in Abingdon—a national scheduled monument, architecturally Grade I listed.

Community outreach in the gardens

Community engagement

Apart from being a precious heritage site, the Abbey Buildings have evolved into a vital community asset. They contain the Unicorn Theatre, the only theatre in the town centre, and they host a range of social events, festivals, concerts and plays. The romantic historic atmosphere appeals to wedding couples, and the fine acoustics are recognised by musicians, actors and audiences alike.

Whilst serving our community, Abingdon Abbey Buildings is preparing for the future with a major Enhancement Project. This will improve access and services, and most importantly secure this historic site for generations to come.

Visitors: please note that the ‘gothic’ ruins in the Abbey Gardens are not remains of the abbey church or the monastic buildings but a Victorian folly built in the 1860s.

Latest News

Big Splash Opening

Abingdon Abbey Buildings Reopen 31st July It is with the utmost joy that we announce the reopening of the Abbey Buildings on 31st July. At...
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Ox Cart to Oxford

The curator of the Abingdon Abbey Buildings is Tim Miller, an American originally from the US State of Georgia. His grandfather’s grandfather Elias was an...
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An Exciting Event for the Unicorn (hopefully!)

Now that it really does look as though live theatre will be back this year, we've also had some very exciting news. Studio Theatre Club have...
Read more » "An Exciting Event for the Unicorn (hopefully!)"