Abbotsbury Abbey Remains
Stunning historical remains in the Dorset countryside
The idyllic country village of Abbotsbury in Dorset is the perfect place to come and explore historical remains, away from the modern-day hustle and bustle. Wander through the scenic lanes of Abbotsbury as you approach the abbey, instantly mesmerised by its beauty and impressive stature.
What’s the story of Abbotsbury Abbey?
Black-robed monks called the abbey their home and followed a routine of work, study and prayer set out by St Benedict’s rule. The remains you’ll explore here are from the 13th and 14th centuries, as the early monastery was destroyed in Norman times and the abbey eventually went in the 15th-century.
You’ll see the remains consist of two outer buildings with medieval windows, the abbey’s barn sitting by the fish ponds, and a gable of a narrow building – just imagine how this place would have once looked.
Treat yourself to a pub lunch
We’re sure you’ll be feeling a tad peckish after strolling through the abbey grounds. The Ilchester Arms Hotel is a delightful place for a spot of lunch, a stone’s throw from the site. We suggest grabbing a table outside if the sun’s still out, basking in the sunshine as you reminisce on the history you’ve explored.
But what will take your fancy on the menu? The fillet steak with gratin potatoes is simply divine, and we also recommend the warm goat’s cheese salad for something a bit lighter. To satisfy any sugar cravings, you must try either the homemade chocolate brownie or crumble.
We recommend a short three-minute drive to St Catherine’s Chapel after lunch. You’ll overlook miles of luscious green fields, with the sea breeze of Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland rushing through your body.
Monks built the chapel in the 14th-century, and you’ll see the ‘wishing holes’ among the nooks where women would pray to find a husband. Sit quietly on the hilltop with the sounds of crashing waves below you, a perfect end to the day.
More English Heritage to explore
Maybe you’d like to explore more English Heritage places in Dorset? Maiden Castle is just under a 30-minute drive from Abbotsbury. It’s one of the largest Iron Age hillforts on the continent, with multiple ramparts from the 1st-century.
Keep the walking boots on for this one as you wander the grounds, surrounded by open green fields, reflecting on the times when a 4th-century Roman temple called the site home.
Whether you make a solo trip or bring a group of friends to show off this unspoiled part of the country, the beauty of Dorset will keep you coming back to these fascinating historical sites.