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A look at the houses down the hill in Abbotsbury, Dorset, England. In the 11th century King Canute rewarded the services of Orca, his steward, with land in Abbotsbury, Portesham and Hilton. It’s believed there was already a religious community in Abbotsbury, and Orca and his wealthy wife Tola built an Abbey here. The Abbey dominated life in Abbotsbury for 500 years, but was destroyed in the dissolution. The barn survived and is the largest thatched building in the world.
Until the dissolution, Abbotsbury would have been one of the most important villages in the county, and the settlement is laid out around a wide market area. After the decline of its monastery, Abbotsbury became the quiet village it is today.
In 1664, during the English Civil War, Roundheads and Cavaliers clashed at Abbotsbury. Cavaliers besieged the Roundheads in the church tower of St. Nicholas’ church, which still bears the scars of musket fire.
During the Second World War, the coastal front was fortified and defended as a part of British anti-invasion preparations of World War II. Later, the Fleet was used as a machine gun training range, and Bouncing bombs were tested there, for the Dambuster sortie (Operation Chastise). More info