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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Malmesbury Abbey

Located 12km south of Cirencester, Malmesbury Abbey dates from the Norman period and is known for its Romanesque sculpture on the south porch of the abbey.

Founded in the mid-7th century, the Benedictine abbey became a noted seat of learning and the remaining treasures of the abbey include four illuminated Flemish bibles.

Dissolved in 1539 by King Henry VIII, the abbey survived as the parish church of Malmesbury.

The abbey includes the (empty) tomb of King Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, near the pulpit.

It was from the tower of the abbey that the "flying monk" - Eilmer - attempted to fly with the aid of wings in 1010 and lived to tell the tale, though he is reported to have walked with a limp thereafter after breaking both his legs on descent.

Next door to the abbey is the Abbey House Gardens (Tel: 01666 827650).

Malmesbury Abbey
Parish Office
Holloway, Old Squash Court
Malmesbury SN16 9BA
Tel: 01666 826 666
Google map of Malmesbury Abbey

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