The Church of St Nicolas is one of the oldest buildings in Abingdon and one of the few remaining from the great Benedictine Abbey of Saint Mary. St Nicolas' church was built in about 1170 AD as a church for lay servants and tenants of the Abbey. Its position on one side of the main gateway of the abbey complemented St John's Hospital for lay people on the other. The abbot and monks had their own large church, and appointed Rectors to be responsible for St Nicolas church. The exterior of the church has changed little in recent centuries, but there were many internal changes as the result of a major restoration in 1880 and repairs to the chancel after a serious fire in 1953.
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