Bath Abbey stands at the heart of the city of Bath. During the past twelve and a half centuries, three different churches have occupied this site:
An Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church dating from 757, pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England soon after 1066;
A massive Norman cathedral begun about 1090. It was larger than the monastery could afford to maintain and by the end of the 15th century was in ruins;
The present Abbey church founded in 1499, ruined after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of Henry VIII, was completed in 1611.
The Museum celebrates, cherishes and continues the story of the Abbey site.
As a registered museum our aims are:
to explain to visitors how the Abbey site has been used by Christians for 1600 years.
to display evidence of the different buildings which have been here and what went on in them.
to show the impact the Abbey has had on the wider community in Bath.
to preserve items associated with the Abbey.
to demonstrate the achievements in architecture and sculpture associated with the Abbey.
to reveal the life of the Abbey today.
Museum, Architecture centre, Sacred space
9.30am to 6.00pm
Tuesday to Saturday
9.00am to 6.00pm
1.00 to 2.30pm & 4.30 to 5.30pm
Religion, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives, Archaeology
Candlelit Vigil marking 100 years since the start of WWI
- 4 August 2014 10-11pm
10pm on the night of Monday 4 August
Free tickets will be available from the Bath Box Office from Monday 14 July.
Drawing upon Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark that, “The lamps are going out all over Europe” we will be marking the Centenary of the start of the First World War with a Vigil Service. The Abbey will be lit with hundreds of candles which will be extinguished one by one until the final candle is blown out at 11pm – the moment of Britain's ultimatum to Germany. The Vigil will include music, memoirs of Bath residents, scripture and poetry.
The vigil will be held simultaneously as the national service at Westminster Abbey.
It is not intended to be a premature marking of armistice, but will commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the war: remembering our common humanity and recalling the terrible cost in lives lost on all sides of this devastating conflict.
The service will be broadcast into the Abbey Churchyard for those without tickets.
Please note the purpose of this service being ticketed is to help with seating arrangements and to reduce queueing time on the night.
All tickets will be free and allocated by the Bath Box Office.
- Any age
Free. Tickets available from Bath Box Office
'The Cool Web : A Robert Graves Oratorio' and 'The Edith Cavell Story'
- 30 October 2014 7:30-9:45pm
'The Cool Web : A Robert Graves Oratorio' is a brand new First World War commemoration piece for SSAATTBB choir, baritone soloist and 17 piece chamber ensemble, with music by Jools Scott, based on texts from Robert Graves' poems, some First World War poems, some from before and after the 1914 War, compiled by Scott's long term librettist and collaborator, Sue Curtis (Vice, Demon Lover). This WW1 Centenary oratorio charts the experiences and creative reaction of one of the great English poets, subjected to the horrors of the trenches.
Internationally renowned Endymion Ensemble ('a powerful sense of energy and mystery' - The Daily Telegraph) will be joined by Philharmonia Voices ('the choral interludes hit with the force of a sledgehammer' and were 'simply unforgettable' - The Guardian) in a performance conducted by Robin O'Neill (English Chamber Orchestra, 30 Grammy nominations as a recording artist). Soloist Edward Grint ('Hugely impressive' - Independent) sings the young Robert Graves alongside a children's choir that has been selected from Bath schools.
Preceding the oratorio, The Edith Cavell Story describes the remarkable life of the most heroic of WW1 nurses; and is adapted from Diana Souhami's biography by esteemed broadcaster and writer, Leonard Pearcey, who will perform it together with actress Sophie Ward (Heartbeat, Young Sherlock Holmes).
Don't miss this inspiring opportunity to celebrate two profoundly different personal experiences of the 'first modern war'.
Tickets are on sale now at Bath Box Office : http://bit.ly/1jYyHjR
- Any age
Band A £30
Band B - £25
Band C - £20
Band D - £15
Band E - £10
Bath Abbey Tower Tours
Bath Abbey's tower is open for guided tours every day except Sunday, at 11 am, 12 noon and 2 pm. You can climb the 212 steps to the top of the tower and enjoy a panoramic and unrivalled view of the city. Visitors can see the 10 bells and hear how the tower was built. You can also sit inside the Abbey's clockface.
How to obtain
Tickets at £5 (£2.50 for children 5 - 14) are available from the Abbey Shop. A 2-for-1 discount is available with a Bath Discovery card. For safety reasons, children under 5 are not allowed on Tower Tours. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or to book a tour.