Proposed new Abbey facilities

“Improvements to ‘comfort’ at the Abbey are long-overdue, and it was one of my promises, as the new Rector of Sherborne Abbey, to prioritise this work and to make the Abbey an even more welcoming and accessible place to work and visit. These proposals represent the most significant improvement to facilities at the Abbey since the recovery of The Lady Chapel in the 1920s, and I hope they will be welcomed by the local community and visitors alike”.

The Revd. Martin Lee, Team Rector

In what is the first real building development at Sherborne Abbey for a hundred years, The Reverend Martin Lee has revealed exciting plans to bring the Abbey’s facilities into the 21st century. The proposals will not only benefit the local congregation and wider community but also improve the experience for visiting choirs and performers, schools, and the thousands of visitors to Dorset for whom Sherborne Abbey is a must-visit tourist attraction.

Plans include converting the existing ground and first floor vestries to a dedicated two-storey toilet facility; creating a new vestry in the north transept under the organ loft; designing a permanent but discreet hospitality area, for events and services, within The Lady Chapel area; and generally improving accessibility, and wheelchair access, throughout the Abbey.

The new, purpose-built, single-level vestry, which is not only used for robing and preparation by clergy and servers but is also vital to the day-to-day running of the Abbey, will be designed with full consideration to its historic setting.

Outline plans have been prepared by the Abbey’s Inspecting Architect, Marcus Chantrey, and these are publicly available to view in The Ambulatory at Sherborne Abbey. The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), and other amenity bodies, have also been invited to comment on these proposals.

Monuments and Memorials

This proposed development involves adjustments to some monuments and memorials, many of them lost in the mists of time but some more recent. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who may have an interest, particularly descendants of those commemorated, including:
Abbot Clement: c1155
Sir Thomas Wyatt: 1542
Sir John Horsey: c1560
George Brown: 1709
Elizabeth, wife of James Piddle: 1710
Pemberton Methuen: 1835
Richard and Francis Hodgson: 1918