Abbotsbury Swannery

Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset is unique. This is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. A visit to the Swannery is considered one of the best things to do in Dorset.

The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040’s. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish Dorset banquets. St Peter’s monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas’ Church in the village. Since that time the Swannery has been under the stewardship of the Ilchester Estates.  A wide selection of wildfowl can viewed at the site.

The first cygnet hatched 3 May 2011 at 7.45am at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset, nearly two weeks earlier than usual. And if a 600-year-old legend is to be believed, the hatching signifies an early summer. If the swans are right, we could be in for a hot May.
Over 1,000 cygnets will hatch over the next six weeks at the swannery, based on Chesil Beach at Abbotsbury. There are approximately 900 swans and 150 nests at the world’s only managed colony of wild mute swans. 


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