The Abbey grounds are tucked away behind the church and market place right in the town centre. The grounds contain the site of St Mary’s Abbey which was consecrated in 1176 in the presence of Henry II. It remained until the Dissolution in 1539 when the Abbey was completely demolished.
Today, the site of the Abbey is outlined with paving stones. In the Abbey grounds is a lake (home to a large population of wildfowl), impressive trees and greenery and section of ancient Roman Wall. The Abbey Grounds is also home to a bandstand (completed in 1999) on which there are performances during the summer months.