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Shaftesbury Abbey

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Shaftesbury.
In the historic county of Dorset.
Modern Authority of Dorset.
1974 county of Dorset.
Medieval County of Dorset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST86182291
Latitude 51.00531° Longitude -2.19857°

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

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Nunnery founded circa 888, probably on the site of a 7th century minster which may have been extant circa 670. It was reformed to the Benedictine rule, presumably in the reign of Edgar, and was dissolved in 1539. (PastScape)

A stone wall bounding Gold Hill on the west, which although repaired and rebuilt in several places, dates mainly from the late 14th or early 15th century and probably formed part of the boundary of the Abbey land. The portion which stands nearest the bottom of Gold Hill has been rebuilt but original material appears to have been re-used. Towards the top of the hill the original masonry is preserved with buttresses of two and three weathered stages; supplementing these are probable 19th century buttresses with inclined faces. About half-way up the hill there is a blocked round-headed doorway. (PastScape No. 206569–ref. RCHME)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1367 Oct 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


Licence to crenellate granted 1367. A large Lady chapel was added to the church in the C14 and possibly the precinct wall was started around this time. It is likely parts of the precinct wall and associated gates would have been crenellated but the function of this wall was to keep out unwanted visitors, particularly poachers out of the park and fishponds.
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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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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