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Purcell wins Abingdon Abbey restoration job

Abingdon
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Purcell has won the contest for a £4 million overhaul of Abingdon’s Grade I-listed abbey

The conservation specialist defeated a raft of unnamed rival firms to land the prestigious £700,000 contract.

Purcell will now work with the Friends of Abingdon Civic Society to make its buildings more accessible and improve their sustainability.

Formerly known as the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary at Abingdon, the settlement was the sixth wealthiest monastery in England when it was dissolved in 1538.

Of the surviving buildings, the Abbey Gateway, St Nicolas Church and the former St John’s Hospital are now part of the Guild Hall which is operated by Abingdon Town Council.

Friends of Abingdon Civic Society meanwhile owns the Bakehouse – now home to the Unicorn Theatre – the Checker Hall and Checker and the Long Gallery.

The historic buildings overlooking the River Thames were saved from demolition, restored and opened to the public in the 1940s.

The 89-capacity Unicorn Theatre – featuring an Elizabethan style thrust stage – opened in 1953.

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