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The effigy of James Montagu, bishop of Bath-Wells and later Winchester, 17th century.

The effigy of James Montagu, bishop of Bath-Wells and later Winchester, 17th century.

A closer look at the effigy of Bishop James Montagu.

A closer look at the effigy of Bishop James Montagu.

Not only are abbeys and cathedrals places of worship, but they are also in effect large cemeteries. These huge churches didn’t have graveyards; they WERE the graveyards. I was really struck by this on my first visit to England in 2004, when we visited the famed Westminster in London and the Salisbury cathedral.

At Bath Abbey, it is much the same.

A wall of plaques, over here called "tablets," erected in memorium to those buried below.

A wall of plaques, over here called “tablets,” erected in memorium to those buried below.

Everywhere you walk in the abbey, you're walking over gravestones.

Everywhere you walk in the abbey, you’re walking over gravestones.

The abbey is currently under repair. The graves underneath have settled, leaving huge voids and putting the floor in danger of collapse. Read more about that here.

A typical tablet.

A typical tablet.

More tablets.

More tablets.

I like this tablet. It's amazing to think that there's been something on this site since 973 A.D. One thousand years of English monarchy. Wow.

I like this tablet. It’s amazing to think that there’s been something on this site since 973 A.D. One thousand years of English monarchy. Wow.

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