Bath Abbey

The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, commonly known as Bath Abbey,[6] is a parish church of the Church of England and former Benedictine monastery in Bath, Somerset, England.[7] Founded in the 7th century, it was reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries; major restoration work was carried out by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1860s. It is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in the West Country. The medieval abbey church served as a sometime cathedral of a bishop. After long contention between churchmen in Bath and Wells the seat of the Diocese of Bath and Wells was later consolidated at Wells Cathedral. The Benedictine community was dissolved in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[8]

Bath Abbey
Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Bath Abbey as viewed from the south-west
Bath Abbey is located in Somerset
Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey
Location within Somerset
51°22′53″N 02°21′32″W
LocationBath, Somerset
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
Previous denominationRoman Catholic
ChurchmanshipLow Church[1]
DedicationSaint Peter and Saint Paul
Past bishop(s)James Montague
Heritage designationGrade I
Designated12 June 1950[2]
Architect(s)William Vertue, Robert Vertue, George Gilbert Scott, George Phillips Manners
Architectural typeParish church
StylePerpendicular Gothic
Years built1499–1611
Length220 feet (67 m)[3]
Width22 feet (6.7 m)[3]
Number of towers1
Tower height160 feet (49 m)[4]
MaterialsBath stone
DioceseBath and Wells
ParishBath Abbey with St James
Bishop(s)Michael Beasley
RectorRevd Canon Guy Bridgewater
Canon MissionerRevd Stephen Girling
Assistant priest(s)Revd Evelyn Lee-Barber
Curate(s)Cath Candish
Minister(s)Nigel Rawlinson
Pastor(s)Revd Chantal Mason
Organist/Director of musicHuw Williams[5]
Business managerFrank Mowat
Parish administratorSue Clark
Looking west from the choir, the
fan vaulting is mostly 19th-century

The church architecture is cruciform in plan[9] and can seat up to 1,200 patrons.[10][11] An active place of worship, it also hosts civic ceremonies, concerts and lectures. There is a heritage museum in the cellars.

The abbey is a Grade I listed building,[9][12] particularly noted for its fan vaulting. It contains war memorials for the local population and monuments to several notable people, in the form of wall and floor plaques and commemorative stained glass. The church has two organs and a peal of ten bells. The west front includes sculptures of angels climbing to heaven on two stone ladders, representing Jacob's Ladder.

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