Downside Abbey, Stratton on the Fosse, will be holding a special event as part of the Heritage Open Days in September. A local architectural and historical gem, there will also be a chance to tour the private monastery gardens.

A recital by renowned Cambridge organist, Nigel Kerry, will take place in the afternoons and the visitor centre will be open for refreshments.

Described as the finest example of neo-gothic architecture in Britain, the Abbey is home to a community of Benedictine monks who have been on the site since 1814.

Visitors can wander around the Abbey Church and discover the history of one of only four minor basilicas in the UK, where there will be volunteers and staff on hand to talk you through the building.

There will be midday office at 12.30 and visitors are welcome to join the monastic community for this.

Downside will be offering guided tours of the monastery gardens, which last around 45 minutes. The gardens have been exclusively for the use of the monastic community, but they are being shared with visitors as part of the Heritage Open Days.

The gardens have sustained the community both agriculturally and spiritually for the past 200 years and Downside are excited to be able to share some of this rich history. Please note: the gardens will only be accessible on a tour.

The Abbey Visitor Centre will also be open for a cup of tea or coffee and to have a browse around the bookshop.

The Abbey is open on Wednesday, 15th and Thursday, 16th September from 10 am – 4 pm with Garden Tours at 11 am, Midday Office at 12.30 pm and Organ Recital at 2 pm.

If you are interested in attending the Abbey on these dates, visit the website for more information: