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Abbotsbury - historic towns survey

The Dorset Historic Towns Project report on Abbotsbury.

The local distinctiveness of Abbotsbury is formed from perhaps three main components: the layout of the historic town and former monastic precinct, the historic buildings, and the landscape setting. The medieval town plan survives almost complete, and elements of the late Saxon plan which preceded it may also survive in the modern layout.

Good survival of the historic structure is complemented by the high quality and large number of historic buildings. The survival in the historic core of many unbroken groups of buildings, with little disruption from modern development, is a major factor which highlights the contribution made by historic elements to Abbotsbury's urban character. The large number of surviving medieval buildings in the former monastic precinct also sets Abbotsbury apart from other towns in the region. The harmonious use of a range of local building materials helps underscore its local setting and emphasises links to the surrounding landscape.

The landscape and topographic setting of the town is fundamental to its character. In particular the visual impact of St Catherine's Hill and its associated late medieval chapel sets Abbotsbury apart.

Here is a summary (pdf, 171kb) (opens in a new window) and the full report (February 2011) is below. We would welcome your comments. Please send any feedback to the Senior Archaeologist (Promotion and Liaison).

Part 1 and 2 Introduction and overview (pdf, 594kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 3 and 4 Context and sources (pdf, 643kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.1 and 5.2 Saxon and medieval (pdf, 600kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.3 and 5.4 Post-medieval and modern (pdf, 703kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Character assessment (pdf, 377kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 1 Abbey precinct (pdf, 658kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 2 Market Street, Back Street and Rodden Row (pdf, 679kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 3 West Street (pdf, 636kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 4 East Farm (pdf, 546kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 5 Abbey Mill (pdf, 511kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 7 Research and appendices (pdf, 495kb) (opens in a new window)

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