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WELCOME

Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden

Open daily from 10am to 4pm April to 31st October.
Admission is free, donations gratefully received to support this independent charity.
Dogs on leads welcome.

In AD 888, King Alfred of Wessex founded in Shaftesbury the first great abbey just for women. His second daughter was installed as the first Abbess, and for six and a half centuries the community and buildings grew and flourished. By the time of Henry VIII this had become the wealthiest and most important Benedictine nunnery in England, dominating and serving the town and lands around.

It was the last abbey to be destroyed by Henry VIII in 1539. Only the foundations survive and items recovered by excavations are now displayed in the museum. This brings to life the story of the abbey and the people who lived there.

We look forward to seeing you.