What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Sherborne and Its Abbey Church

=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo, via Salisbury. L. and S.W. Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Sherborne. =Distance from London.=–118 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 3-1/4 to 6 hours.

                     1st       2nd       3rd
=Fares.=–Single  19s. 8d.  12s. 4d.   9s. 10d.
          Return  34s. 6d.  21s. 6d.  19s.  8d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Digby Hotel,” “Antelope,” “Half Moon,” etc.

Sherborne is full of archaeological interest, for besides its wonderful Abbey Church, it has the ruins of its castle on a rocky height at the east end of the town and a good number of ancient houses. The town itself is situated on the side of a hill sloping down to the Yeo, and has a clean and quaint aspect. About 705, it was chosen as the seat of a bishopric. The see was removed to Old Sarum in 1078, but the castle continued to be used as an episcopal residence until it was besieged by Stephen, when it became Crown property. The Abbey Church of St. Mary the Virgin is Norman in origin, but it has been so rebuilt and remodelled that it is now practically Perpendicular. The whole church, with the exception of the Lady Chapel, was very carefully restored between 1848 and 1851.

Adjoining the Abbey Church, at the west end, are the remains of the parochial church of Alhalows, a three-aisled church in Decorated or Early Perpendicular style. The monks and the parishioners had many quarrels, one resulting in a fire which destroyed much of the abbey. The Abbey Church was granted by Henry VIII. to Sir John Horsley, who sold it to the parish for 250. There being no further use for Alhalows Church, it was taken down.

The exterior of Sherborne Church has been called unpicturesque, owing to its low central tower and insignificant pinnacles. It is, however, a huge building, and its interior is so richly decorated that it more resembles a cathedral than a parish church. It possesses the finest fan-vault in existence, covered with gilded bosses and heraldic arms. Contrasting with this wonderful richness of decoration are three plain Norman arches.

The nave is divided into five bays by panelled arches, the irregular widths of which are due to the fact that the Norman arches are cased in with Perpendicular work. The south transept has a wonderful roof of black Irish oak.

[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. SHERBORNE ABBEY CHURCH.

It contains Norman work and some of the finest fan-vaulting in existence.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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