History of the Farm and Barn
Benedictine Monks established St Peter’s Monastery at Abbotsbury in the 1040s. They built the Tithe Barn at the centre of the farm in the 1390’s. The monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins can be seen around St. Nicholas’ Church in the village.
The Children’s Farm Today
This is a great place for the young family looking for things to do in Dorset. There are lots of animals for the children to meet, greet and feed. Considered one of the best Children’s Farms in Dorset, there are fun things to do every day.
Children can cuddle the guinea pigs, ride the ponies, race the tractors, play in the large undercover play area, jump around on the new bouncy castle (don’t forget your socks!) and bottle feed the lambs. The lambs also have a midday race around a track, after the race the children are invited to take a lamb for a warm down walk on a lead.
The family cafe offers local Dorset produce cooked on site and the gift shop has a charming range of quality gifts.
St Catherine’s Chapel
St Catherine’s Chapel was built in the late 14th century on the top of what is now known as Chapel Hill and was commissioned by either Abbot Henry de Thorpe or Abbot William Cerne. It is built of local stone with heavily buttressed walls and a stone barrel-vaulted ceiling. The original stone slab roof was replaced in 1983 with Clipsham stone slabs. The hilltop situation of the chapel typifies the cult of St Catherine, who was widely venerated during the Middle Ages. The chapel was dissolved in 1539 and no longer used for regular ecclesiastical services. However, the structure continued to be maintained and formed a well known local landmark which was also visible from the coast.