Abingdon, on the River Thames, is one of the most attractive of Oxfordshire's many market towns, and rich in history too. Within easy reach of Royal Windsor and Shakespeare's Stratford, its own claim to fame is Abingdon Abbey, a medieval masterpiece that you must try to visit when you're in this region. Stay at a local Oxfordshire hotel or guesthouse and you'll find that you're bang in the middle of one of England's most picturesque and culturally rich areas.
Abingdon Abbey from Oxfordshire Hotels
Abingdon Abbey has a long and eventful history that goes right back to the 7th Century and it became an important stronghold of the Wessex kings in about 950AD. The Abbey and its extensive land holdings spread across what is now Stert Street all the way to Radley Road and The Vineyard, and in its day it was the major landowner of the region. Stay at one of the many local accommodation options such as Oxford Abingdon Hotel or The Westwood Hotel and allow yourself plenty of time to take a look around the well-preserved ruins. Abingdon Abbey makes a great destination for a day out with light lunch or a picnic.
Oxfordshire Hotels and Strained Relations at Abingdon Abbey
In early medieval times, the people of Abingdon had the Abbey as their landlord and this sometimes led to somewhat strained relations. They essentially leased their homes and businesses from the local clergy, and the Abbey also had a monopoly on revenues from the local market. In 1327 tensions came to a head and rioting broke out, during which property belonging to the Abbey was trashed, and twelve of Abingdon's citizens ended up swinging on the gallows. The victims had a posthumous last laugh when Henry VIII later dissolved the monasteries and one of the biggest of these was Abingdon Abbey, which was comprehensively sacked in 1538. Two parts of the abbey have survived quite well, considering everything they've been through! The Abbey Gateway is perhaps the most picturesque part, and based at a local Oxfordshire hotel or B&B you'll be in a good position to enjoy these splendid old ruins.