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Hampshire Map

Anyone who thinks that Norman architecture is always heavy, dark and clumsy could do well to visit Romsey Abbey.

Whilst it is true to say that the Romanesque style can never achieve the lightness and elegance of the Gothic, there is nothing dark or oppressive about the interior of this, one of the finest Norman churches in the south of England.

The abbey was originally founded in around 960 AD as a convent under St Ethelflaeda, best known for standing naked in a local river late at night chanting the psalms. Heady stuff, that communion wine.

The current building dates from 1130 to 1140, and was built by Henry Blois, Bishop of Winchester and Abbot of Glastonbury.