Residents are being invited to retrace the history of Abingdon Abbey with the launch of the town’s new Abbey Heritage Trail this weekend.
The new trail aims to highlight the history of the famous Abbey, making it accessible to the public through interpretation boards which link the town’s main medieval abbey sites.
The trail begins at the Gateway (next to theGuildhall), taking in St Nicolas Church and then Roysse Court, before moving on to the site of Abingdon School and St John’s Hospital in the town centre.
The walk then proceeds on via the bridge to the Abbey buildings, through theAbbeyGardensand along the millstream to end atBarton Courtruins. Visitors can then choose to return back the way they came or go over Abingdon weir and lock to walk back along the river bank to the bridge.
The trail will be opened at11amat the Gateway on Saturday 10 September as part of the Abingdon Heritage Open Weekend activities and volunteers will be taking some guided walks along the trail over the weekend.
The Lost Abbey Project was granted £49,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and work has been carried out by the Friends of theAbbeyGardens, a group of local volunteers passionate about Abingdon’s history.
The funds are being used to help increase knowledge of the Gardens, as well as raising awareness of the Abbey and its historical importance during medieval times.
In addition to the Heritage Trail the work will include a booklet on the history of the Abbey and an education pack to encourage schools to visit the site. These are set to be available in 2012.
As well as money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, contributions have also been made to the project by Abingdon Joint Environmental Trust, the Vale of White Horse District Council and Friends of Abingdon with design assistance generously given by West WaddyADP.
Mary Lambeof the Friends of Abbey Gardens, said: “It is fantastic that funding from the Heritage Lottery fund has enabled us to produce this exciting new informative trail on the medieval history of Abingdon.”
CllrRoger Cox, cabinet member for planning at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this important project and helping to highlight the rich and important history of the Abbey area in Abingdon to a much wider audience.”