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Four facts about Bath Abbey

23/09/2016 Mark Tourism

If you have ever visited the beautiful city of Bath in Somerset, there is no way that you cannot have been impressed by one of its biggest and best attractions – Bath Abbey.

The site on which the Abbey is located has been a place of worship for over one thousand years, but of course, it is much different in appearance to how it was then, having been revamped and remoulded over the years.

Not only that, but the Abbey has had its good and bad times over the years, having risen from the ashes of many a wartime attack, reforms of architecture, and of course, WWI and II.

Luckily for the city of Bath, its Abbey still stands proudly to this day, attracting tourists and providing an amazing location.

Since Bath Abbey – which is one of the buildings you should definitely look out for on hot air balloon rides in Bath – is so old, a huge amount of lore, history and hearsay has developed around the building. Here are just four of the most interesting facts about Bath Abbey:

1. It’s not the first church on its site

There have actually been three separate churches located on the site of Bath Abbey, the first dating back to 757 AD. This was an Anglo-Saxon monastery, which was reduced to rubble by the Normans when they conquered England.

The Normans then built a huge cathedral on the site, construction of which started in 1090, and which was little more than ruins by the end of the 15th Century. The current Abbey Church was then built.

2. It’s fit for a king

One of the most interesting facts it is possible to find about Bath Abbey is that it was the chosen venue for the coronation of King Edgar – the first king of England. He was crowned on the site way back in 973, and this was the event that set the precedent for future royal coronations in England.

3. It was inspired by a dream

Whether you are flying over Bath Abbey in a hot air balloon, or you are visiting the spectacular building on foot, one of the first things you will notice are the ladders of Angels, which are located on the West front of the building. You may, therefore be interested to know their story.

In a nutshell, Oliver King, the Bishop of Bath had a dream about angels descending, and he used this as inspiration not only for the design of the angels, but also for a new Abbey. This is why Bath Abbey was constructed in the medieval period.

4. It underwent a major change a century and a half ago

Bath Abbey as we recognise it today was created by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who gave the building a massive revamp between the years of 1864 and 1874. He transformed the building in the Victorian Gothic style that was so popular when he was working in the city.
Perhaps his most important change to the Abbey was the inclusion of stone fan vaulting above the its nave.

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