Heritage Open Days
Wednesday 18th September 2019
10.00am - 4.00pm
Downside Abbey is one of the architectural and historical gems of Somerset, and for the first time we are running tours of the private monastery gardens.
Described as the finest example of neo-gothic architecture in Britain, the abbey is home to a community of Benedictine monks who have been here since 1814. Take a guided tour of the building which lasts approximately an hour and discover the history of one of only four minor basilicas in the UK. You can also simply stroll through the abbey yourself, and see some of the items from the monastery collections displayed especially for the day. There will be midday office at 12.30 and visitors are welcome to join the monastic community for this.
For the first time ever, we are also offering guided tours of the monastery gardens which last around 45 minutes. The gardens have been exclusively for the use of the monastic community but plans are underway to restore and open these beautiful and historic grounds. They have sustained the community both agriculturally and spiritually for the past 200 years and we are excited to be able to share some of this rich history!
Abbey Church Tours at 10.30am & 1.30pm
Garden Tour 11.00am & 2.30pm
Please note: some areas of the gardens will only be accessible on a tour.
The Abbey Visitor Centre will also be open where you can get a cup of tea or coffee and have a look in the bookshop.