The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Chapel Hill

Sacred Hill


Historic Britain

"This chapel is built on a definite platform which could have been made originally for the pagan temple. But the chapel we see today was built in the expansionist 1300's. Wessex first became Christian around 800. It seems unlikely that a pagan temple could still be active 500 years after the conversion of Wessex to Christianity, so today's building presumably replaced an earlier Christian structure.

It would be interesting to try to guess the original pagan dedication. We suspect that Abbotsbury was the site of a Roman villa, if only because it is one of a small number of sites in Dorset - indeed in Britain - that are very fertile and have easy access to navigable water; in this case, the Fleet, a 10 mile stretch of semi-tidal water that runs behind the Chesil beach from Portland harbour. The Roman Army in Britain depended heavily on sea borne transport for its supplies, so Abbotsbury might have been a military farm providing grain for the garrisons at Exeter, Chester, Dover and Colchester. It is possible that the visible foundations of the medieval mill in the village are Roman. The Fleet is famous today as the home of a herd of swans who used to belong to the Abbey (a swan is theologically a fish and can be eaten on Friday). They are known to have lived here for at least 600 years."
texlahoma Posted by texlahoma
8th August 2009ce
Edited 22nd October 2012ce

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