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Around Abingdon: Sunningwell

There are a number of places around Abingdon which have been connected with the town throughout history, often because the Abbey owned a number of manors in the area. One of these places is Sunningwell, which is just north of Abingdon. In this post, I take a closer look at Sunningwell and pick up aContinue reading “Around Abingdon: Sunningwell”


Extreme Weather in Abingdon: Snow and Ice

It has become something of a cliché: people grumbling that when they were growing up, they had proper winters, not the rain and slush which prevails these days. However, it appears that people have been saying that for a hundred years or more, so it is probably more a matter of viewing your childhood throughContinue reading “Extreme Weather in Abingdon: Snow and Ice”

Caring for the Abingdon Ichthyosaur

The recent research visit to examine the Abingdon Ichthyosaur presented an excellent opportunity for the Collections Officer to give the fossil some TLC. The display case is rarely opened, but even when shut, it is not completely sealed. The glass top is in three sections, and the joints between them are not sealed, so overContinue reading “Caring for the Abingdon Ichthyosaur”

Pubs in Abingdon

The making of beer seems to have been one of humanities earliest achievements. It is possible that even in the Stone Age, people knew how to produce an alcoholic drink from barley and water. Since Abingdon has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years, it is conceivable that the brewing and drinking of beer hasContinue reading “Pubs in Abingdon”

Abingdon Museum’s Victorian Roots

Recently Abingdon Museum celebrated its centenary, and showcased its history with an exhibition. The Museum Committee was first established in 1920, not in Victorian times, but here I want to show that the ideas which informed the foundation of the museum go back to that era. As a starting point, lets take a look atContinue reading “Abingdon Museum’s Victorian Roots”

Thomas Cromwell and Abingdon

The 28th of July 2020 is the 480th anniversary of Thomas Cromwell’s death. On this day in 1540 he was taken from the Tower, where he had been incarcerated since the 10th of June, to the scaffold on Tower Hill and executed. Since this is the blog of Abingdon Museum, I will take this anniversaryContinue reading “Thomas Cromwell and Abingdon”

More Museum Team in Lockdown Stories

 As the lockdown restrictions begin to ease, a partial return to our pre-Covid lives seems possible. But the pandemic is a long way from being over, and the experience is going to reverberate in our lives and our thoughts for some time. Museum Assistant Shirley Buckle summarises what it has been like these part fewContinue reading “More Museum Team in Lockdown Stories”

Museum Team in Lockdown Stories

“Ausnahmesituation” is one of those portmanteau words which the Germans find so handy. “Ausnahme” means exception, and the word describes exactly that: an exceptional situation, an unusual place we find ourselves in. Here two museum team members offer their impressions of the current Ausnahmesituation, and how they sometimes struggle with what has become our “newContinue reading “Museum Team in Lockdown Stories”

The Islamic Glass at Abingdon Museum

Most of the objects in the museum collections originate in or around Abingdon. One object on display however has come from as far away as Cairo. It is the enamelled glass vessel displayed with other objects from medieval Abingdon. The vessel was not found whole, only fragments of it remain, but they are enough toContinue reading “The Islamic Glass at Abingdon Museum”

Medieval Maths

Have you ever walked down the Checker Walk in Abingdon and wondered where it got its name from? The Checker was one of the buildings of Abingdon Abbey. It was the counting house, the place where the Abbey’s finances were administrated.  The name comes from the accountants’ tools of their trade: a checkered table top,Continue reading “Medieval Maths”