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Royal couple visit Milton Abbey

PUBLISHED: 11:08 25 June 2014

The Earl and Countess stand beside portrait of King Athelstan, founder of Milton Abbey

The Earl and Countess stand beside portrait of King Athelstan, founder of Milton Abbey

Archant

The Earl and Countess of Wessex recently paid a private visit to the thousand-year-old Milton Abbey.

The event was attended by the Lord Lieutenant, the Chairman and Chief Executive of North Dorset District Council, and a small group of invited guests.

The royal couple were given a guided tour of the Abbey by the Archdeacon for Dorset, Stephen Waine, who told them about its extraordinary history. Founded by King Athelstan, the first King of All England, in 933, it was initially a Benedictine monastery.

After the Reformation it passed into private hands for 400 years. In the 18th century it became part of a grand scheme of Lord Milton, including a lavish Gothic mansion and outstanding landscape park designed by Capability Brown. Since 1932 it has been owned by the Diocese of Salisbury.

This summer Milton Abbey will host a Pugin exhibition (in July and August), in addition to the International Music Festival which will take place from 28th July to 3rd August. For more details visit miltonabbey.org. The Abbey is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm.

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