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Places to visit

Abingdon-on-Thames is a town worth taking time out to explore. The ancient buildings have a character and charm all of their own and the town’s history is colourful and interesting. These pages will help you to plan your exploration in more detail.

Map guides are available free from the Visitor and Community Information Centre. There are QR codes on the panels of information in the town centre and these give access to an audio tour. The OXTRAILS phone app covers Abingdon-on-Thames, Didcot, Faringdon, Henley, Thame, Wallingford all the Southern Oxfordshire towns.

 

The side wall of the County Hall Museum viewed from the paved area with seating
Why not introduce your family to the interactive experience of a modern museum with changing exhibitions, workshops and activities for kids? Abingdon’s County Hall Museum is right in the town centre, overlooking the Market Place and is free. It’s a great start to any visit, helping you to understand the history of the town, from monks to MGs. On a dry day, a visit to the County Hall rooftop can...
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The Abbey Buildings
When Henry VIII’s men dismantled the Abbey which had made the town famous, they left behind some medieval buildings near the river which were eventually saved by the Friends of Abingdon. Today the Abbey Buildings are a fascinating glimpse into the business life of the monastery, and also include a small theatre created at the time of the coronation of our present Queen. There are three separate...
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Tulips and other bright spring flowers in the park
The Abbey Gardens are a charming stroll with flat, easy paths and wide gates. Amongst the planted flower displays can be found Victoria's statue and the ruins which have fooled many a visitor into thinking they have seen the remains of Abingdon Abbey. In fact it is Trendell’s Folly created in the 19th century when this was a private garden. None the less the stones are probably ancient in their...
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St Nicolas' Church in the evening sunshine at midsummer
Another remaining part of the Abbey complex is St Nicolas’ Church, once known as “The Little Church by the Gate”. It was built for the lay servants of the Abbey to use for their prayers and services and probably also as a contact point between townsfolk and monastery. It is in full use today as a parish church; on Sundays the bells ring out across the market place from the square tower. Well...
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Looking up at the high spire of St Helen's against a blue sky
St Helen’s Church spire is a familiar sight from the river and beneath it is an interesting church of unusual shape, the result of the successive generations of townsfolk keen to give their church some status by adding another nave, and then another...until the floorplan became as wide as it is long. The panorama of stained glass windows is lovely but of less importance than the very rare ceiling...
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Boat drawn up at St Helen's Wharf in front of the Anchor Pub
The former St Helens Wharf is worth a stroll not only because it is a beautiful spot overlooking the Thames, but also because it was the other source of wealth and importance for the town in early days. The merchants of the St Helens quarter owned many of the attractive town houses which line East St Helen Street today.  This area, including the wharf which once thronged with boats unloading and...
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Beautiful plasterwork ceilings in the historic rooms of the Guildhall
The Guildhall was the civic heart of Abingdon-on-Thames in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now restored to its former status since transferring back to the Town Council in 2010, the glorious baroque rooms can not only be visited – you can hire them and make them your own for a wedding or family celebration!  PLEASE NOTE THE BUILDING IS CLOSING AT THE END OF AUGUST 2015 FOR EXTENSIVE REFURBISHMENT...
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