Abingdon - oldest town in Britain


St Edmund of Abingdon

St Edmund of Abingdon

A Clerk of Oxford writes: If you were asked to guess the oldest town in Britain, you might not think of Abingdon. But the market town, which lies six miles south of Oxford, claims - and with some justice - to be the "oldest continuously occupied town" in this country. Situated on a loop of the Thames, in a green river valley, Abingdon was a densely-occupied and well-defended settlement by the Iron Age, surrounded by ditches which can still be traced in the plan of the modern town. Throughout the Roman and early Anglo-Saxon periods, the town's population persisted, and by the tenth century had become the site of an important monastery.

Tourists who come to Oxford from around the world rarely make their way to Abingdon; it's a working town, not a showplace. Its central shopping area was a casualty of post-war planners, a mass of modern concrete and chain stores; to the north, new housing estates are creeping ever closer to the famous university city. What might have been Abingdon's chief tourist attraction, its cathedral-like abbey church, was destroyed five centuries ago.

Read the rest, on St Æthelwold and St Edmund of Abingdon, at Unherd: https://unherd.com/2020/08/abingdon-is-proof-that-life-goes-on/?=frlh

LINKS

St Edmund and Abingdon: https://aclerkofoxford.blogspot.com/2017/11/st-edmund-and-abingdon.html

A Clerk of Oxford blog: https://aclerkofoxford.blogspot.com/


Tags: A Clerk of Oxford, Saint Edmund, Abingdon, St Æthelwold, Reformation

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