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Malmesbury Abbey

Gloucester Street, Holloway, MALMESBURY, SN16 0AA

A massive Norman structure, Malmesbury Abbey church dates to the 12th century, although its history goes right back to the 7th century, when an Irish monk and teacher first settled on the site. A Benedictine abbey was founded, and when King Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, died in AD 939 he was buried here. After the Dissolution the abbey church continued to serve the parish. The original structure included two towers, but these both collapsed at different times during the 16th century, destroying sections of the church with them - gaps remain. Today one of its chief glories is the carved, arched doorway, sheltered in a porch, a remarkable survivor of Anglo-Norman artistry. Stone relief sculptures above arches on the interior walls of the porch vividly depict the Apostles, complete with flying angels. Arcades and galleries inside echo the curve of the Norman doorway. Look out for the stained glass window which tells the celebrated tale of Elmer, a monk who lived here in the 11th century and decided to fly from a tower.

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Admission free, donations suggested £5

Opening times

Open all year, daily 9.30-4
Average visit 1 hr




Dogs allowed all areas.


Fully accessible. Toilets.

Malmesbury Abbey


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M4 junct 17, follow A429 then Malmesbury signs to town centre

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