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MALMESBURY ABBEY

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Nunnery first documented in 603. Monastery founded in the 7th century, possibly circa 637. It became Benedictine in the reign of Edgar and remained so until dissolved in 1539. There are references to Saxon and later churches within the Abbey precinct but their succession is not clear. They were dedicated to Our Saviour, SS Peter and Paul, St Michael, St Laurence and St Mary. The final Abbey Church was built circa 1160-70 and had 13th/14th, and 15th century additions. It was damaged by the fall of a tower before 1539 and in 1541 the nave became the parish church. Another tower fell in the 16th century and further damage is recorded in the 17th century. It was restored in 1830, 1899 and 1927. The cloister and conventual buildings lay to the North of the church and along with the precinct walls and gates were investigated, with some excavation, and planned by Brakspear in 1910. Abbey House (ST98NW66) was built in the 16th century and the major part of its under-croft belongs to the rere-dorter of the abbey. Fragments of architectural detail and walling survive in buildings North and West of the church and burials and Mediaeval material are found from time to time.

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