Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden

Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden

Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden
4.5
About
The excavated foundations of this once important and influential Abbey lie in a peaceful walled garden, with a medieval orchard and extensive herb garden. Founded in 888 by King Alfred the Great, Shaftesbury Abbey was the first Benedictine nunnery only for women. The museum brings to life the story of the Abbey and its inhabitants with dramatic displays of medieval stonework and an interactive virtual tour. There is a free audio tour, printed guides in European languages and a children's trail and activities.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles156 reviews
Excellent
86
Very good
61
Average
8
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Deb W
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We were greeted by a lovely gentleman, David, one of the volunteers, He was very knowledgeable about the Abbey, and was more than happy to spend time telling us about it and answering our questions. Such an interesting place, a real hidden gem. ¹
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue N
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Lovely. Very interesting. Shame it was too wet to explore the grounds. Staffed by very knowledgeable people who were very friendly and welcoming.
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

June A
Surrey, UK2,694 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
There's not a huge amount of the Abbey left to see but the volunteers are lovely and very good and more than willing to explain the history. The gardens are beautiful - even in October and the walk down to the Abbey itself is beautiful.
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stacey M
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
The abbey volunteers made this experience for us. The lady that welcomed us at the door explained in a child friendly way about the history of the abbey and gardens. My daughter completed the children’s trail answering questions about what she had seen. Then their was an option to dress up. She dressed as a nun before saying ‘I am going to volunteer with that lady’ so she did. The volunteers were very encouraging of her interests and answered all her questions. She didn’t want to leave. The adults had a great time too. It’s very well set up . There is a guide book for £1 which explains each area. The volunteers were very informative. The gardens are beautiful.
Written 17 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

khibbe125167
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Lovely quiet walled abbey and gardens
With beautiful surroundings. The surrounding park has stunning views across the countryside.
Written 5 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DaveBAmersham
Little Chalfont, UK903 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Had hail and thunder with rain when we visited so not ideal conditions. Spent some time in the museum which was small but full of interesting artifacts, models and displays. Good value for money as donations are requested with no entrance fee involved. Clearly very little of the Abbey remains however with a bit of imagination a very good image of the original build can be formed in the mind using the information gained from visiting the museum before exploring the grounds. Not a good time of the year to view the gardens. Not living in the area I learnt about plenty of local history and how it impacts on other areas of the country. Staff very knowledgeable and friendly.
Written 10 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

daisydora123
Wiltshire82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
I spent over an hour and a half looking around the abbey remains, garden and museum. It wasn’t hard to imagine what the abbey must have looked like when it was in use as there were plenty of images around and everything was well labelled. It must have been a majestic imposing building sat on top of the hill with the vineyards covering the hill below.
The herb garden is still in use and there was plenty of information and the medicinal use of the herbs grown by the nuns.
Written 5 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John H
Columbus, OH208 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This small museum and ruin in Shaftsbury gives just another reason to dislike Henry VIII. Just another of the ruins from what were impressive Abbeys scattered throughout the UK. What a tragedy that the societies could not be dismantled without destruction of the magnificent architecture and the resulting foraging for building materials by future generations.
The museum is worth visiting for the information about Shaftsbury's past.
Written 2 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Millie024
Llantwit Major, UK532 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
Built on the hilltop, the abbey must have been visible for miles around, but now only part of the ground plan shows, incorporated into a pleasant garden. The Dissolution of the Monasteries still has the power to shock and upset a visitor, and the explanations of the foundation of the nunnery by King Alfred, and its destruction on the orders of Henry VIII , in the attached museum, are vividly explained. The museum was refitted during the lockdown period, and repays a visit, which was enhanced by appropriate music, played quietly in the background. There are plants on sale outside, and a well stocked shop, with an attractive selection of cards and books.
The staff who admitted us and sold postcards were exceptionally pleasant, presumably local volunteers. This visit was in June 2021
Written 10 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolyn N
Portland, OR4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Friends
Peaceful, beautiful garden on the site of an ancient (9th c.) chapel & abbey. The garden is not large, a quiet place to sit & reflect on all the events that happened there. Interesting for history buffs because well-versed volunteers explain what was there long ago. The attached museum with professional displays illustrating the long history of the abbey & its inhabitants.very much worth a visit.
Written 28 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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