Wessex Attractions: Muchelney Abbey

Muchelney Abbey, two miles from Langport on the Somerset levels, was a Benedictine monastery founded by King Ine of Wessex around 700 and refounded by Athelstan in 939, making it the second-oldest religious foundation in Somerset. It was abolished by Henry VIII in 1538 as part of the dissolution of the monasteries, with many of its buildings being demolished. Those that remain are now the property of English Heritage.

Visitors can explore the foundations of the abbey, some of which date back to Anglo-Saxon times. Surviving buildings include the abbot's house and cloister, and - holy shit! - a monastic latrine. The abbey has ample grounds where children can play and explore.

Admittance at the time of writing costs £7 (free to English Heritage members). The abbey is currently closed for winter, with no indication as to when it will reopen. When it does (probably around Easter), the satnav postcode is TA10 0DQ. Somerset County Transport bus 850 serves the site on Thursdays. Otherwise, the nearest bus stop is in Langport, a mile away, served by Buses of Somerset service 54, from Taunton to Yeovil.

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