Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre is Bath Abbey's interactive heritage centre. An entertaining experience designed to bring the Abbey’s history to life, this space was opened as the final phase of our Footprint Project in March 2023.

Objects from the Abbey’s archives are on display in this custom-built area constructed within the ancient vaults beneath the Abbey building. Fascinating videos, replica period costumes and exciting interactive exhibits will immerse visitors in the history of this extraordinary building and explore the stories of people connected to the Abbey.

Alongside an extensive timeline of the Abbey’s history, historical artefacts, some of which have never been seen by the public, are on display. These include: Anglo-Saxon crosses; Medieval carved stone fragments; historic silver; and the Benefactors’ Book, a record of money and materials given to the Abbey for its reconstruction after the Reformation.

There are plenty of activities and content for families visiting, including:

  • Dressing up
  • Interactive exhibits and games
  • Animated timelines of the building's history and why Bath became an important city
  • family-friendly illustrations and stories

Please note: The Discovery Centre is closed when the Abbey is closed for visiting. Changes to opening hours can be found here.

Footprint Project

Read the latest update (June 2023) about the Footprint Project here.

The Footprint Project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

The Footprint project at Bath Abbey is about moving from past to future. Thanks to this pioneering multi-million-pound initiative, our historic floor has been saved from collapse and the building has been opened up in new ways – to be enjoyed in its full glory by future generations.

We are also far more energy-efficient with new LED lighting system and underfloor heating that is powered by renewable energy from Bath's famous hot springs.

After so much of the Project being hidden behind the scenes, we have now completed our new Song School, meeting rooms and office space in Kingston Buildings, as well as a brand new Learning space which will transform what we are able to offer not just to our own Abbey congregation, but to the city we serve and its visitors. Our Abbey Shop has also had a complete transformation.

The aims of the Footprint Project are to conserve, innovate and inspire:


  • The Abbey’s collapsing floor was restored, a precious part of the city’s Georgian heritage
  • Preserving community spirit by opening up more opportunities for volunteering, groups and partnerships


  • Harnessing Bath’s hot spring waters to power eco-friendly underfloor heating
  • Re-imagining spaces to create a comfortable, flexible place for all, from special services to family fun days and civic ceremonies to concerts. Keep an eye on our What's On page to never miss an event in the Abbey.


  • Telling the story of the Abbey’s fascinating history through the brand new Discovery Centre
  • An inspiring new Learning Room for students and activity days
  • A brand new Song School which is home to the Abbey’s choirs

Our floor is saving the world by making use of Bath's hot water springs. Discover how in this video:

Discover more about the Footprint Project: