NEXT YEAR will mark Romsey Abbey's 900th anniversary in the centre of town.

The immense building that has dominated Romsey since it's foundation in 1120 is 900 years old in 2020.

In celebration of the Abbey's importance, there will be a year of events that will involve the whole town.

Starting with an Epiphany service in January where the Three Kings will be welcomed, it will kick off an entire sequence of exhibitions, interactive displays, concerts, and opportunities for Romsey people of all ages to be involved throughout the year.

Liz Hallett, Chairman of the 900 year celebration committee, said: "We want the entire town involved in this celebration.

"There will be opportunities for everyone to be involved, to highlight some; in April there will be a celebration of local people who have been married or baptised in this place, in May we will be dedicating a new window to Florence Nightingale, in June there will be a month of music including a Schools' festival, and a town picnic in the North Churchyard.

"In October we will celebrate our own local Saint, Ethelflaeda.

"We have more and more events being planned all the time."

Councillor Mark Cooper, who represents Tadburn on the borough council, said: "Romsey Abbey is by far the most significant structure in the town.

"Sitting on a gentle rise just above the valley floor of the River Test, its benevolent presence dominates the town centre. Whatever religious belief, or none, Romsey residents are extremely fond of ‘their’ beautiful Abbey and any anniversary celebration of its existence will be fully supported by the townspeople."

The planned 2020 events include;

  • Stonemasons explaining how the Abbey was built.
  • A demonstration of what it was like to be a Nun in the 10th Century.
  • Romsey Schools music concert.
  • Town wide celebration picnics

Lots more events are planned for the 2020 celebrations.