Last July my parents came to stay for a few days and as they are recent members of English Heritage, we looked around for local attractions near me in Somerset. Muchleney Abbey is (unsurprisingly) in the village of Muchelney on the Somerset levels with the nearest town being Langport. It’s in a beautiful peaceful spot, and the perfect location for a picnic, but as we didn’t come prepared, we bought ice creams from the little shop there, and then found a cute place for afternoon tea further down the road afterwards. Although the south cloister is still intact, sadly as usual, Henry VIII is to blame for the ruined state of the rest of the abbey. It is the Tudor Abbott’s house that can be explored properly….
There are several rooms of the Abbott’s house open to the public; however don’t expect much in the way of furniture or decoration. I actually loved the simplicity of the rooms and the whole place felt very peaceful.
Outside it is quite fun working out what all the rooms were as the walls are clearly visible and kids would love walking along them and imagining what it was once like. Recovered stone carvings have been taken inside and put on display and there are several others around the Abbey house. There were also decorated tiles in one or two of the downstairs rooms and replica stamps have been made so you could have a go at printing them yourself (though on paper, not tiles!). There’s also monk’s robes for kids to try on to keep them amused.
If you’d like to visit, the cost is very reasonable if you’re not English Heritage members. Have a look at the Muchelney Abbey page on their website.
There’s also a rare two-story barn-sized lavatory outside, and a pretty parish church next-door. It doesn’t take long to look around, so if you’re spending the day sight-seeing, combine it with something else, but it’s great for people who get bored of old things quickly! Let me know in the comments if you have a visit of the abbey (apparently it’s the second biggest in Somerset after Glastonbury) and if there’s any information or tips to add. Thank you!