Milton Abbas Chapel
This little building requires a some determination to find because it is somewhat hidden in a wood on the hill immediately above and in line with the east end of Milton Abbey. Nevertheless, the effort is well rewarded. The chapel is set in a charming woodland clearing and there is a delightful serenity about it. There is also a quite stunning view of the Abbey, 300 yards below, all the more enchanting in the autumn when the leaves are turning. After St Catherine was martyred in Alexandria her body was taken by angels to the summit of Mount Sinai, where her monastery still stands. This was a hugely popular saint and is commonly associated with churches sited on hill tops. (see Abbotsbury St Catherines)
The chapel is late Norman and built by the monks as a pilgrim chapel. It is the oldest building in the Milton Abbas complex and is very simple with two Norman windows and two Norman doors. Over the south door is an inscription that promises pilgrims 120 days indulgence. (For an explanation of indulgence see Milton Abbey Chantry) The nave was strengthened in the 16c but by the end of the 19c the building was derelict. In 1901, the Hambro family restored it and a service of consecration was held on St Catherine's night.
The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©