The Abbey cemetery is a remarkably peaceful and pretty spot and is listed as a place of special historic interest on English Heritage’s ‘Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest'. However, it can easily be overlooked by visitors, simply because they don’t know it exists or struggle to find it. Unusually it is not attached nor is it adjacent to the Abbey itself but is perched on top of the hillside in Widcombeis, about 15-20 minutes’ walk from the city centre. This is probably one of the best vantage points in Bath to view the city and surrounding countryside in all seasons.
Designed by John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843), the ‘Brunel’ of cemetery design, the cemetery adheres to its creator’s vision, which was to dispose of the dead in a hygienic manner, to improve the morals and taste of the great masses of society, by its architectural and botanical riches, and, most importantly, to serve as a historical record for future generations. Loudon also said that the Cemetery should be conspicuous from a distance, be an ornament to the surrounding countryside and an impressive memento to mortality.
We shall leave you to make up your mind as to whether Loudon’s final creations before his death in 1843, fulfils this admirable and laudable ambition.
The Cemetery is now managed jointly by Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Abbey, with the support of the Widcombe Association.
How to find it
Address: Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, BA2 5BB
Access: Open to the public all year round.
Parking: There is no parking available at the cemetery itself. There is limited parking on surrounding roads.