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Bath Abbey is both a functioning church and a major tourist attraction. I enjoyed an hour or so of photographing it.

Bath Abbey

The front of Bath Abbey, late afternoon when the golden light warms the front

From the tour we took on the first day, I learned that Bishop Oliver King was responsible for restoring the church after 1500. He left his name, in a way on the front.

Oliver King symbol

Bishop Oliver King — the mitre hat above an olive tree encircled by a crown. Get it?

One of the unique aspects of Bath Abbey is the ladder on each side of the doors. The story is that these are a manifestation of a dream that Bishop Oliver King had, where angels ascended and descended to fetch souls to heaven.

Jacob's Ladder on the front of Bath Abbey

Angels go up and down the front of Bath Abbey. The second angel from the top is coming down — you can tell because the head is facing down instead of up.

Before the present-day Bath Abbey was built, a Norman Cathedral stood on the same site. According to a sign, the Norman Cathedral would have been much larger (and Bath Abbey seemed big to me!) and surrounded by monastic buildings and gardens, a palace for the Bishop, and burial grounds.

Norman pillars under Bath Abbey

Remnants of the old Norman cathedral pillars

The ceiling in Bath Abbey was particularly beautiful.

Magnifying mirror in Bath Abbey

A magnifying mirror was set up in the middle of the aisle, to make it easier to admire the beautiful ceiling.

Later, I took a tour to the top of the bell tower — I’ll post photos from that next week.

What do you think of Bath Abbey? I put up more photos on my Flickr photostream.


Bath Abbey, Part 1 #BriFri — 5 Comments

  1. Hi Joy –
    I love Bath. Especially the Ancient Roman site. And the food was not too bad either.

    I tried last week to add this old travel/review post to your linky via my iPad and it would not work for some reason. So I’ve added it today.

    Great picture of the ceiling for the abbey!

  2. Pingback: Bath Abbey Tower Tour #BriFri | Joy's Book Blog

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