There is so much to see and do in the Abbey, but definitely some things that you shouldn't miss during your visit. Here is a snapshot of the highlights...
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.
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).
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. (Unfortunately this is currently inaccessible while we carry out work for our Footprint project.)
Ledgerstones: The Abbey floor is made up of 891 flat grave stones called ledgerstones. As part of the Footprint project two-thirds of the ledgerstones (east end and north side of the church) have been restored and re-laid thanks to the skill of local craftspeople.
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.
The Great East Window: Completed in 1873 and repaired after World War II, it tells the story of Jesus in 56 scenes.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Join a tour: If you'd like to explore the Abbey further, why not join a Tower Tour to see the clock, bell chamber and the city from the top of our tower? Or to see work taking place for our Footprint project, join a Behind the Scenes tour.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Unfortunately our Tower Tours and Behind the Scenes Tours are not running at present. However, once we've worked out how we can offer these safely, there will start operating again and we will update our website accordingly.
What to do if you have...
Have a quick walk around The Abbey, and...
- Light a candle to remember a loved one
- Admire the carved angels that can be found all around the Abbey
- Look up at the original fan vaulted ceiling dating from the 1500s. Parts of it weren't completed until the 1860's, so see if you can spot the difference.