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Bath, St Peter and St Paul (The Abbey)

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"The Abbey church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a venerable and finely proportioned cruciform structure, in the later style of English architecture, of which it forms one of the purest specimens: from the intersection, an irregularly quadrilateral tower to the height of one hundred and sixty-two feet. It occupies the site, and is built partly with the materials, of the conventual church of the monastery founded by Osric, which had subsisted, under different forms of government, for more than eight hundred years. This church having become dilapidated, Bishop Oliver King (as it is said, admonished in a dream, of which a memorial is sculptured on the west front,) began to rebuild it in 1495; but dying before it was completed, and the citizens refusing to purchase it from the commissioners of Henry VIII., the walls were left roofless, till Dr. James Montague, Bishop of the diocese, aided by a liberal contribution from the nobility and gentry resident in the county, completed it, in the year 1606. There are some remains of the monastery on the south side of the Abbey church, consisting chiefly of the gatehouse in which James II., Mary, consort of William HI. Queen Anne and her consort, George, Prince of Denmark, successively resided: the revenue, at the dissolution, was £695. 6. 1. By charter of Elizabeth, the several parishes of St. Peter and St. Paul, or the Abbey parish, St. James, and St. Michael, were consolidated into one rectory, to which the vicarages of Widcomb and Lyncomb were annexed. The living is in the archdeaconry of Bath, and diocese of Bath and Wells, rated in the king's books at £20. 17. 11., and in the patronage of the Mayor and Corporation. ... "  [Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) ©Mel Lockie]

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Historical Geography

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