Bath Abbey, which can be found in the lovely county of Somerset, was founded in the 7th century, and is now an Anglican parish church, though it used to be a Benedictine monastery. It saw many re-vamps and restorations over the 12th and 16th centuries, before Bath Priory was surrendered to the crown in early 1539, when the Act of Dissolution disbanded all monasteries and forced them to give up their lands . It was then cruelly stripped of all its lead, iron and glass, and left to decay.
Thankfully, 35 years later in 1574, Queen Elizabeth ordered that a national fund be set up to restore the church to its former glory, and let it serve once more as the parish Church of Bath. James Montague, the Bishop of Bath, donated £1,000 (a substantial £321,000 today) towards the restoration of the roof, after apparently attempting to seek shelter from a thunderstorm in the roofless nave!
Further restoration a re-decoration was carried out in the 1860's by famed Gothic Architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. To this day it is one of the largest examples of Gothic architecture in the West Country, able to seat 1,200 people, and is particularly famed for its fan vaulting (Gothic ceiling decoration). Other notable features include a display of war memorial, a peal of ten bells, sculptures of angels climbing to heaven on stone ladders, and monuments and memorials to several important people, such as stained glass windows and 617 memorial wall plaques. Over 420,000 people come from all over the world to visit Bath Abbey every year, and none have ever left disappointed.
12 Union Passage , Bath , BA1 1RE
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