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Downside Abbey


Downside Abbey is a Roman Catholic monastery, home to a community of Benedictine monks and one of only four Minor Basilicas in the United Kingdom. 

Built in the Gothic Revival style, Downside Abbey Church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. 

Downside Abbey is home to the relics of Saint Oliver Plunkett and there are several other points of interest to look out for during your visit, including the magnificent gate to the Lady Chapel, Giles Gilbert-Scott’s Nave and unfinished West front and the decorated transepts which are the oldest part of the Abbey Church, designed by Dunn and Hansom in 1882. The Garner-designed woodwork of the quire is modelled on the stalls in Chester Cathedral and the Compton Organ’s console is made from timber from HMS Bellerophon which transported Napoleon after the Battle of Waterloo.

Tours are available of the Abbey Church and Monastic Library. There is also a bookshop and visitor centre serving tea and cake throughout the day.

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