Medium: Aquatint, coloured
Malmesbury abbey in Wiltshire was founded in the 7th century and gained importance and fame through the work of one of its earliest abbots, St Aldhelm. A shrine to St Aldhelm remained the abbey's most popular attraction. All of its original Anglo-Saxon buildings had been replaced before the last quarter of the 12th century.
After the abbey was dissolved in the 16th century, two thirds of the buildings disappeared into ruin or were destroyed. However, part of the abbey church nave was later reused as the town's parish church. The abbey's central crossing tower collapsed in the 16th century and around 1662 the west tower had collapsed and destroyed part of the nave. The market town of Malmesbury was built around the abbey.