In the late C10th, a Benedictine monastery was founded by St Wulfstan, beside the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin in Sherborne. These monastic lands were sold during the Dissolution and re-used in the founding of King Edward’s School in 1550 by Edward VI, as a free grammar school for local boys.

This antique print shows the Abbey building comprising a central structure with two wings. To the west there is a door under a large window and long octagonal tower with carved grotesque figures. Fragments of more ancient sculptures are affixed to the wall and include a ram, lamb and owl. There was a long tradition that this building was originally the monastery kitchen, but it was later modified into part of Sherborne School, and it is still visible in Abbey Road.

This is an original copper line engraving from The Gentleman’s Magazine, a monthly publication founded by Edward Cave in London in 1731. The magazine flourished throughout the C18th and C19th and provided news and commentary on many subjects intended for the educated public. The picture was drawn and engraved by J C Buckler.

Click here to buy the engraving of the abbey house in Sherborne in our printshop.