The Blessed Virgin Mary
Sherborne is arguably the most attractive town in Dorset. It is an ancient place with roots in the Saxon period when it was already a village. Surprisingly, the centre is still largely unspoilt by encroaching red brick terraces or mindless housing estates or even inappropriate modernization of the old buildings. It has the venerable feel of a small cathedral city and certainly the calm of a place of learning, which it still is. Timber faced buildings jostle with stone from the Georgian period and others with quaint half-hidden courtyards. Right in the middle of this wonderful cacophony of styles rests the Abbey behind its green, resplendent like some fabulous crown on a velvet cushion.
The view from the south over the green, shows an almost entirely 15c perpendicular style, apart from the south porch, which is a mix of 12c ground-floor rebuild and 19c above. Yet it is the rich golden colour of the Hamstone from which it is constructed coupled with the majestic tower and superb flying buttresses that all combine to produce an unforgettable image. When the sculptural floodlighting illuminates the Abbey at night, there is a wholly serene quality about it.
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