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Pictures of Shrewsbury Abbey

a Abbey in the town of Shrewsbury, in the county of Shropshire

About Shrewsbury Abbey

The site of Shrewsbury Abbey is an ancient one, quite possibly dating back to Saxon times when a wooden church would have stood on this spot. A small church community was recorded in the Doomsday Book.

Today's Abbey was founded during the 1080's by Roger de Montgomery, who answering the call of a priest returning from a pilgrimage to Rome, agreed to convert the existing church into a grand abbey. Roger transported monks from his homeland in Normandy to assist with the building work, and by 1087 monastic life was established. Fulchered, the first Abbot came from Normandy. Roger de Montgomery took the vows in the Abbey in 1094, but three days later he was dead.

During the 12th and 13th-centuries Shrewsbury Abbey rose to become one of the most important in the country, the Abbots garnered riches and held immense power. It was during a pilgrimage to Wales in the 12th-century that Prior, Robert Pennant discovered the remains of St. Winifred. He brought her back to be enshrined at Shrewsbury, with this single act the Prior made the abbey a place of pilgrimage, ranking second only to Canterbury.

Visitors to the abbey will learn much of its fascinating history, this includes its use as the first seat of the House of Commons when Parliament was held here in 1283, visit by Henry V who made a pilgrimage to Shrewsbury, and the warring of monarchs and monks. In today's world, the abbey has been made more famous as the home of Brother Cadfael, literary creation of Ellis Peters. Her rich portrayal of Brother Cadfael as a herbalist and monk with extraordinary powers of detection has thrilled readers all over the World.

Much Norman work is preserved in the abbey. The font is reputedly made from a Roman capital, there is splendid stained glass, the west tower has a fine Perpendicular window and there are tombs and monuments dating from 1300 onwards.

Latter day features include the chancel, this was designed by Pearson in 1887 and built by the generosity of Mrs Harriet Juson of Shrewsbury who left £10,000 to meet the costs of the new construction. Visitors will also note beautiful stained glass of the 19th-century.

Shrewsbury Abbey remains a place of Christian worship where visitors are welcome to join in services, tour the abbey, visit the abbey shop and enjoy musical concerts held in this ancient building where there is an ever-present sense of the past combined with a faith in the future and the care of an ever loving God.

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