Sometimes ambling without a plan can lead you to a place you never dreamed of. Abbotsbury is like that. The charm of the hillsides and the ocean below will take you by surprise. But then, as you begin to explore, you find there are so many things to see and admire. The village has been here since before it’s mention in the Domesday Book of 1086.
You find the Great Tithe Barn. It is the largest thatched building in the world and only about 1/2 of it remains. It is dated to the 1390s. It is now a children’s farm where you can interact with the animals.
Abbotsbury Tithe Barn by Anne Flint
Moving along, you find the ruins of the once great, powerful, and wealthy Abbey, which needed that big barn. Atop a hill is St. Catherine’s Chapel. The monk’s used it as a retreat and place of pilgrimage. The Sainte is patron of spinsters. Local tradition says that those desperate to find a husband prayed to her and said that, “Anyone is better than never a one.”
Below the village, along the coast, is Chesil Beach – the most amazing natural phenomenon of rolled pebbles that go down in size as you travel to the west.