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Gillingham Museum Montage

Accredited Museum Arts Council England

Dorset Museums Association



Shaftesbury - Alfred's Town, Alfred's Abbey

Shaftesbury’s Benedictine Abbey for women was founded by King Alfred the Great and consecrated in AD 888.

Alfred’s second daughter, St Ethelgiva was a nun there and later became Abbess.

Following the Dissolution, the Abbey was surrendered to the Crown in 1539 and later the church was demolished with much of the stonework removed for re-use in the town.

In 2019, much archaeological work was undertaken in the Abbey grounds by local professional archaeologist, Julian Richards. The ‘SAVED project, supported by Historic England, has involved many local volunteers.

New finds have questioned past theories about the Abbey and Julian will reveal these finds and put the history of the Abbey and the Town into a new perspective.