Abingdon Abbey Buildings

AT THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY

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Abingdon Abbey Buildings

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Welcome to Abingdon Abbey Buildings

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

Heart of the Community

hosting a range of social events, festivals, concerts and plays
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Precious Heritage Site: the History of the Buildings

at the heart of the ancient town of Abingdon-on-Thames
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Weddings at the Abbey Buildings

a romantic historic atmosphere, perfect for your special day
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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.

Latest News

Imaginary Landscapes with Chris Tutton and Anne Denholm

Thursday 12th May, 2022 Chris Tutton is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of seven collections of poetry. Coined by Ned Sherrin as “the master...
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In the Footsteps of the Monks

Bryan Brown, Chairman of The Friends of Abingdon Abbey Buildings Trust, sets the scene for this Spring’s Abingdon Beer Festival 2022 ABINGDON BEER FESTIVAL: Friday...
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Joe Hicks at the Unicorn Theatre – 21st October 2021

“This guy is absolutely smashing it, we can’t wait to see what’s next for him!” – Linda Serck, BBC Introducing Berkshire Music At The Unicorn...
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