The town of Cirencester

2017 will mark the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Augustinian abbey of St Mary in Cirencester in Gloucestershire, and groups can celebrate by attending a series of yearlong events called Abbey900.

The year-long celebrations planned to mark the occasion will include music concerts, a photography competition and a flower festival in the church.

Other proposed ideas include athletics events, guided walks of the abbey site, pageants, art exhibitions, choral concerts, dancing displays and a swimming gala.

Many other events of a cultural, dramatic and social nature will also be organised under the Abbey900 umbrella.

The events will begin in February 2017; specific dates for each occasion will be confirmed closer to the time.

The group behind Abbey900, patronised by The Bishop of Gloucester, will work in close collaboration with the parish church, as well as a wide base of community groups, town clubs and organisations.

The festival will support current strategies to regenerate the abbey grounds in a manner reflecting their historical importance to the town. 

Abbey900 will provide locals and visitors a chance to celebrate the religious history of the abbey and its significance to the current parish.

Groups visiting Cirencester throughout 2017 will also be able to learn about and celebrate the abbey’s cultural and economic impact on the town throughout history.

More about Cirencester

Groups who’d like to make a longer stay in the region will find the Corinium Museum, the Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester Park and a Roman Amphitheatre within short distance of the abbey ruins and grounds.

Cirencester is also within easy reach of the Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury, the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford and the Keynes Country Park part of the Cotswold Water Park.

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(Photo credit: VisitEngland and