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Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Park Walk, Shaftesbury SP7 8JR, England
Phone Number:
+44 1747 852910
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The excavated foundations of this once important and influential Abbey lie...

The excavated foundations of this once important and influential Abbey lie in a peaceful walled garden, with a medieval orchard and extensive herb garden. Founded in 888 by King Alfred the Great, Shaftesbury Abbey was the first Benedictine nunnery only for women. The museum brings to life the story of the Abbey and its inhabitants with dramatic displays of medieval stonework and an interactive virtual tour. There is a free audio tour, printed guides in European languages and a children's trail and activities.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 72 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 38
  • 27
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 0
the promenade was open

The museum and enclosed gardens were closed til April 1 but the overlook gardens and promenade were open. The views across the vale were lovely and the downhill gardens were... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Houston, Texas

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72 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 71: English reviews
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
599 reviews
383 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The museum and enclosed gardens were closed til April 1 but the overlook gardens and promenade were open. The views across the vale were lovely and the downhill gardens were showing early Spring's flowers. There are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the view as well as a path down into the park below.

Thank KLsWanderlust
Salisbury Wiltshire
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2017

We went during the snowdrop festival week just ended - 19 February. Brilliant free speakers with informative commentary on the Museum and Gardens.

Thank Susi57
Midsomer Norton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
635 reviews
299 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 479 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2017

Lovely views from the walkway overlooking an undulating vale. You could imagine yourself in the 18th century. The gardens are not officially open until Easter but we found a way in. Not much to see as nature is sleeping. I enclose some information images.

Thank Brian-Snellgrove
St Albans
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2016

It was a quiet Sunday when we visited - they provided a very good headphone type listening device which was full of interesting facts and easy to use. It was a small but detailed indoor area and a peaceful garden for contemplation. A hidden gem

Thank Nick D
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2016

This is a quiet meditative space, and they give you a recording device to listen to all the history of the place by just pressing the numbers of what you want described. The garden is particularly interesting.

Thank kjb1801
Hinton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2016

A small attraction. Greeted by a lovely lady who welcomed myself, my daughter and our GSD. At £3 a head value is unbeatable. Each visitor is furnished with a talking history device, which is simple to use. Lovely hot sunny Bank Holiday. Not too crowded Plenty of water bowls for our dog. A very pleasuable afternoon :)

Thank Koodootoo
Doncaster, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
175 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016

Although Henry VIII and his acolytes flattened nearly all of this, it is seeping with History from pre-Norman times. King Alfred established it, put his sister in charge; Edward the Martyr's heart is buried here, and King Canute died here. The ruins are impressive, but you need to look at a model inside the museum to see how important it... More 

Thank johnnychips
Somerset, UK
Level Contributor
129 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2016

I never knew this place was here! We had a lovely walk around the garden, the plants are all labelled and as my partner is interested in medicinal plants in particular, he found it especially interesting. A steal at £3 each and entry is off of the lovely walk with views on the edge of town. We hope to come... More 

Thank Snowy747
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2016

This `excursion` was the best 3 quid we spent over the weekend, the audio guide was really good, and very informative....the memory of Abbess `Joan Fromage` will stay with us a good while!! Nice lady on the desk too!!

Thank Jeremy B
Level Contributor
67 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2016 via mobile

We loved this small museum and then the abbey and its garden. At only £3.00 entry for adults, it's a bargain. Audio guide is also included in the price. I see some people didn't realise these are ruins, well, this was another victim of the dissolution of the monasteries so it's a good place to learn about English history too.... More 

Thank Maxine D
shaftesburyabbey, Public Relations Manager at Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden, responded to this review

Thank you for your lovely review of our museum and garden - delighted to hear you enjoyed it so much. It is a very serene place to visit and I'll pass on your comments to our stewards, who will be pleased. Best wishes, Annabel Turner More 

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?