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Top 10 things to see

There is plenty to see in the Abbey, but definitely some things that you shouldn't miss during your visit. Here is a snapshot of the highlights...

1. Footprint: The Footprint Project will repair the Abbey’s unique floor and provide new opportunities for people to learn, volunteer, and engage with the Abbey. The graphics screening the building work were created by students from Bath Spa University.     

2. Memorials: There are 635 memorials on the Abbey’s walls. Most commemorate people from the 1700s and 1800s. Through the memorials, we learn about their lives, loves, and belief in the Christian hope of resurrection (life after death).        

3. Waller Tomb: Sir William Waller’s memorial to his first wife Jane (d. 1633). William Waller fought for parliament in the English Civil War (1642-51). After the Battle of Lansdown (near Bath) in 1643, Waller’s troops sheltered in the Abbey. We hope you know God’s protection, whatever lies ahead.       

4. Ledgerstones: The Abbey floor is made up of 891 flat grave stones called ledgerstones. In 2018, all the ledgerstones at the East End of the church were removed for repair. They have now been re-laid thanks to the skill of local craftspeople.        

5. King Edgar Window: This window shows the crowning of Edgar as the first king of all England at the Saxon monastery here in 973. He is known as King Edgar the Peaceful. We invite you to be thankful that we live in a country that is at peace today.       

6. The Great East Window: Completed in 1873 and repaired after World War II, it tells the story of Jesus in 56 scenes.      

7. Birde’s Chantry Chapel: Built by Prior William Birde (d. 1525) as a place for prayers to be chanted for his soul. It continues to be a place of quiet, reflection, and prayer. We invite you to enter and be still in this holy space.       

8. Fan Vaulted Ceiling: Created in the 1500s by the king’s master masons, the stone vaults form beautiful fan shapes to draw us up to God. The Nave ceiling is a copy made in the 1860s, can you spot any differences?       

9. West Window: Completed in 1894, the window tells the stories of the first five books of the Bible. The panels in the bottom left show God’s Creation of Eve and Noah’s Ark. We invite you to be thankful for the beauty of creation today.     

10. The West Front: Represents the dream of Bishop Oliver King that led him to replace the ruined Norman Cathedral with the present Abbey in 1499. Towards the top of the window is a carved dove, representing God’s Holy Spirit.