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Abingdon Abbey

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Abyndon, Abbandune

In the civil parish of Abingdon.
In the historic county of Berkshire.
Modern Authority of Oxfordshire.
1974 county of Oxfordshire.
Medieval County of Berkshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU50119714
Latitude 51.67037° Longitude -1.27640°

Abingdon Abbey has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Norman and later Benedictine monastery, one of the most important monastic centres in England. Built on the site of an earlier Minster and Benedictine monastery. Following the collapse of the central tower in 1091, the church was rebuilt, and the former monastic buildings demolished and rebuilt. The abbey was suppressed in 1538. Trial excavations located the great church built in the Norman period from 1091-1120. Robbing after the Dissolution had been so extensive that even the foundations were removed. Reconstruction of the plan from the original excavation notes shows the church to have been aisled with transepts and a rectangular chancel. However, much detail is still uncertain. The cloister and monastic buildings were arranged to the South of the church. Abbey buildings extant include the late C13 or early C14 century guest-house, and the late C15 gatehouse. (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1330 July 23 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


The abbey was granted licence to crenellate in 1330 but there is nothing to suggest the abbey had anything other than the usual precinct walls and impressive gatehouse, although these would have, undoubtable been crenellated. The existing gatehouse is heavily restored but may have parts which date back to time of this licence but the adjacent guest-house does date back to this period, suggesting the licence was part of a building campaign designed to provide public buildings for (wealthy) pilgrims.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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