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St Catherine's Chapel Milton Abbas

Milton Abbas, St Catherine's Chapel

This small chapel lies hidden in a wood on the hill immediately above and in line with the east end of Milton Abbey.  The chapel is set in a 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 Catherine's Chapel.

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 Abby 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.

A link to the local history group information is below

https://miltonabbashistorygroup.com/st-catherines-chapel/

 

 The Trust gratefully acknowledges basis of text by Robin Adeney  and Drone Photography by Richard Noble ©DHCT 2018

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