Malmesbury Abbey is situated in the centre of the town and is a very impressive building which can be seen from miles around. It was founded nearly 700 years after the birth of Jesus Christ as a place of prayer and Christian community by St. Aldhelm, who was originally a member of the Wessex royal family.

Today, the Abbey is approximately a third of its original size.  During the middle ages it had a tall central spire which William of Worcester recorded as  being 431ft high which made it even taller than the spire on Salisbury Cathedral, which is the tallest spire in England today.  The spire was unstable and collapsed destroying part of the Abbey as it fell.

When the Monastery closed due to the Dissolution in 1539, a wealthy clothier called William Stumpe purchased the Abbey from Henry VIII for £1517.  William Stumpe used the building as a factory for his weaving looms before giving it to the people of Malmesbury in 1541 for use as their parish church.  It is still used as the parish church today.

View Towards the Old Bell

Malmesbury Abbey

Abbey Details

The Abbey porch is of note and is wonderfully detailed.  The inner porch portrays the Twelve Apostles, six on each side and Christ in Majesty is carved above the door.  The carvings on the outer porch form three concentric arches depicting the Creation of Man, the Old Testament Narrative and the Life of Jesus Christ.  You can probably see from the picture how worn these scenes have become over time.

Biblical Details

The day I visited the Abbey, young people from the church community were rehearsing a service to say goodbye to the Youth Pastor who was leaving to take up a new position outside Malmesbury.  The music was very lively, vibrant and uplifting; the young people’s enthusiasm and enjoyment left a smile on everyone’s faces.

13 Comments CherryPie on Jun 15th 2009

13 Responses to “Malmesbury Abbey”

  1. More wonderful photos Cherie. Beautiful!

  2. Sean Jeating says:

    It’s all your fault, Mylady, when I am caught by the travel bug.

  3. It is lovely and your photos are, as always, superb.

  4. jameshigham says:

    I’m wondering when was the last of these ‘magnificent’ buildings built around the country? 1700s?

  5. Denise says:

    I love the flowers growing out of the stonework! Awesome!

  6. liz says:

    Malmesbury looks like a lovely old place.

  7. [...] posted a cropped version of Malmesbury Abbey entrance a few weeks ago. I cropped the photo because a garbage can was spoiling the [...]