Abingdon Abbey was probably founded in the late seventh century, but its great days started when it was re-founded by Bishop Aethelwold and the Wessex kings about 950. It remained one of the foremost of the English abbeys, and at the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII its income was assessed as the sixth largest in the country. At that time it was probably the greatest landowner in the county of Berkshire, and also held property in many other parts of the country. The Abbey church was of a size and splendour comparable to any of the great cathedrals. Nothing of it remains, but its outline is marked out on the ground in the Abbey Gardens.

The Abbey and its surrounding lands occupied an area east of what today is Stert Street and that stretched from the Thames to what are today The Vineyard and Radley Road. Within this area, the Abbey church and its associated monastic buildings stood in their own precinct which ran behind the present Stert Street on the west and was defined by the Millstream on the south and other waterways on the east and north.

For the people of Abingdon, the Abbey was the landlord from whom land in the town was leased. It also had rights over the markets and monopolised market revenues. Relations between the Abbey and the town were sometimes strained; in the riots of 1327 Abbey property was attacked and destroyed, and twelve of the townsfolk finished on the gallows.

In February 1538, the Abbey was the first of the larger monasteries to be dissolved. The Abbot and twenty-four monks were given pensions or found other positions. The household staff numbered about thirty-five, and they and perhaps others will have lost their jobs.

Only two groups of Abbey buildings survive. One group consists of the Abbey Gateway flanked by St Nicholas’ Church and the part of the Guildhall that was once St John’s Hospital. The other runs parallel to the Millstream, and includes the Long Gallery, the Checker, and what is now the Unicorn Theatre.

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The accommodation at Kingfisher Barn has been created from converting old farm buildings dating back as far as the 17th Century. These converted barns ooze charm and history.

Explore the historical town of Abingdon, and take in the breath-taking sights of Oxford.

Kingfisher Barn Ltd | Kingfisher Barn, Rye Farm, Abingdon, Oxford, OX14 3NN

Local Area

Historical Abingdon became the county town of Berkshire sometime after receiving its Royal Charter in 1556. It is a market town and civil parish in England.

This breathtaking town located just six miles south-west of Oxford was formally a county town of Berkshire but had a slight name change in 2012 to become Abingdon-on-Thames.

Abingdon town centre refurbished in 2007 as part of the council's redevelopment plan took on a great new look. All work was in keeping with the surrounding area. 

Come and discover this delightful town for yourself, explore and learn its history, there's so much to see and do!

In 1084, William the Conqueror celebrated and enjoyed Easter at the Abbey. He then left his son, the future Henry I, to be educated there.

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With years of experience and a passion for dogs, we understand your pet is a special member of the family, and you'll want him/her to enjoy the holiday just as much as you!

Our 'Pet-Friendly' policy means you can relax and spend some great time together. From stunning country walks to ambling along the banks of the River Thames, let your 'pooch' enjoy the serenity of our beautiful Abingdon.

Cats are welcome too!

"Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car, he sticks his head out the window.” — Steve Bluestone

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Kingfisher Barn
Rye Farm, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
OX14 3NN
Tel: 01235 634790