This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire

Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire
Photograph taken 07 September 1999 © Mr G Williams. Source Historic England Archive ref: 460896

A nunnery was first documented here in 603. A monastery was founded during the abbacy of Aldhelm (c675-705). It became Benedictine in the reign of Edgar (959–975) and remained so until dissolved in 1539. The final Abbey Church was built circa 1160-70 and had 13th/14th and 15th century additions. The 431 feet (131 m) tall spire, collapsed in a storm around 1500. The west tower fell around 1550. As a result of these two collapses, less than half of the original building stands today. The abbey was closed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 by Henry VIII. It was sold, with all its lands, to William Stumpe, a rich merchant. He gave the abbey church to the town for continuing use as a parish church, and filled the abbey buildings with twenty looms for his cloth-weaving enterprise. More Info

Themes