Abbey House, The Broadway, High Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9JX
A guided tour of some of the city’s collections of paintings & furnishings rarely on display to the public. Originally built as a private house around 1700, Abbey House is now the official residence of the Mayor. PRE-BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
Abbey House is an elegant property erected as a private residence in about 1700 and sited in the beautiful Abbey Gardens just off The Broadway in Winchester. The house stands on the site of a monastic establishment known as Nunnaminster and later as St. Mary's Abbey, which was founded around AD900 by Alfred's Queen Ealhswith. The Abbey survived until the late 1530s when it was formally surrendered to the Crown as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and many of the buildings were demolished.
In 1889 the City Council bought the property since when the grounds have been open to the public and the house made available to the incumbent Mayor. An extensive refurbishment in the 1980’s restored the house to its original eighteenth century splendour. The residence is the venue for many civic, community and social functions throughout the year. Numerous visitors, many from abroad, are received and appreciate the essentially domestic character of this special house set in the heart of the City.
The furnishings and pictures have been selected from the City's collections and this tour, in the company of the collections curator, offers a unique opportunity to appreciate items, particularly paintings, which are rarely on public display.
● Thursday 13 September: Tours 1000, 1200 & 1430
Abbey Gardens are free to explore, but the tour of Abbey House and the collections must be pre-booked.
There are stairs to upper floors, no lift.
Max 10 people per tour/session. Tour takes approx 45 minutes.
Abbey House is close to the statue of King Alfred on The Broadway set back from the pavement behind railings, adjacent to Abbey Gardens.