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Shaftesbury Abbey


Shaftesbury abbey was a Benedictine nunnery that was founded by Alfred the Great around AD888, King Alfred's daughter was also the first Abbess of Shaftesbury.

The Abbey was dedicated to St Mary and St Edward after the murdered young King Edward (Edward the Martyr) who was entombed here in AD979. Killed on the order of his step mother at Corfe Castle, his bones supposedly had miraculous healing powers and the abbey soon became a major site for pilgrimage. King Canute also died at Shaftesbury Abbey in 1035.

The Ghost
According to legend, during the Dissolution in 1539, the Abbess of the abbey gave orders to a monk to bury the abbey treasures to keep them safe from the Henry the VIII's men.

The monk was about to tell the abbess where he had buried the treasure, when he keeled over and died of a stroke. His ghost has been seen walking around the abbey ruins in search of the Abbess to tell his secret. The apparition is said to walk on the older lower buried level of the abbey, so he seems to appear with no legs.

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Directions:
Shaftsbury reached from the A350.

Authorship
Image Copyright: 
Alison Topham

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