Bath abbey

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Bath abbey is a fine example of late Perpendicular building. Begun in 1499 by Bishop Oliver King, it replaced a larger Norman foundation. The architects, the Vertue brothers, were also responsible for Henry VII's chapel at Westminster: each has magnificent fan vaulting. The bishop is said to have been encouraged by a dream showing the ladder to heaven, and the scene is reproduced on the west front. The abbey was a Benedictine foundation and fell into neglect after the dissolution of the monasteries, but, being in the middle of the town, was taken over in 1573 as the parish church.

J. A. Cannon