Dorchester-on-Thames and its abbey have been subjects of antiquarian interest for more than 450 years, and during that time much has been written about them. They are, however, still far from being comprehensively studied and recorded. Indeed, the most substantial architectural description of the medieval church was written as long ago as 1845, and a thoroughgoing reappraisal has long been overdue. In this major new study on the origins, history and architecture of Dorchester Abbey, Warwick Rodwell assembles a huge amount of material from observations during repair and conservation and information derived from archaeological excavation, as well as the unexpected discovery of previously unstudied and unpublished topographical and architectural material, housed in several archives. The volume is divided into two parts: the first contains an account of the archaeology of the site and the architectural development of the abbey, while the second comprises a series of detailed tes and observations on the present structure, its fittings and furnishings.
Professor Warwick Rodwell, OBE, is Consultant Archaeologist to Westminster Abbey.