More Abbey secrets revealed. Plus – Museum Week activities.

The multi-million pound Footprint Project to stabilise the floor at Bath Abbey – and improve church facilities – is gathering pace.

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It’s hoped to have everything finished – including the new underfloor heating – powered by the energy taken from the nearby thermal spring – at some point in 2021.

That’s looking to the future but l always enjoy popping in to the church to have a chat with the people who are spending their energies looking back to the past.

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Members of Wessex Archaeology have been in on this project from the very start.

It’s for them to record and preserve uncovered evidence of the Abbey’s history and also investigate and note the remains of previous buildings – stretching back to Roman times – that have occupied this sacred site.

Cai Mason is Senior Project Officer and it was time to catch up with him and hear more about their recent findings.

Keep up to date with the Abbey Footprint project via www.bathabbey.org and the home page for Wessex Archaeology is www.wessexarch.co.uk

Museums Week: Hands-on archaeology 

Archaeologists have also been finding hundreds of pieces of decorative marble buried beneath the Abbey. These would have once part of the Abbey’s hundreds of wall monuments but were removed in the 1860s when Sir George Gilbert Scott was commissioned by the Rector Charles Kemble to carry out a major restoration of the Abbey.

While this helped transform the interior of the Abbey to its current Victorian Gothic version that we now know it as, these marble fragments were broken up, buried and lost in the late 1860s… until now. 

Discovery Day 6

To celebrate Museums Week, we are encouraging everyone to come and experience what it is like to be one of the archaeologists working with these marble fragments. 

Family and friends will be given their own piece of marble to handle, wash and record under the guidance of one of our staff or trained volunteers. They will also get to find out more and learn about their particular fragment of marble to get a hands-on understanding of a piece of the Abbey’s history. You will be making an essential contribution to the Abbey’s Footprint Project and its archaeological record. 

Discovery Day 4

Free drop in sessions for all the family:

  • Monday 28 October 1pm-3pm
  • Tuesday 29 October 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
  • Wednesday 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm

All welcome, no tickets or bookings required.