VOTERS in this Langport village can combine casting their vote with a visit to the historic Muchelney Abbey at what is believed to be the country's oldest polling station.

People will be marking their ballot papers in the remaining medieval buildings of the Benedictine Monastery, originally founded in the 7th century.

A monastery was first founded on the site as early as 693AD and for centuries it has been a landmark of the Somerset Levels.

Muchelney Abbey is no stranger to elections and the world of politics.

As the home of wealthy Benedictine monks, Muchelney saw many Abbots voted into office and its final years as a monastery read as a tale of bribery and corruption.

Speaking in 2019 during the European elections, Site manager Stephen Honey said: “Many people are surprised to discover Muchelney's murky political past.

"The last Abbot, Thomas Inde, is said to have ensured his electoral success with a comprehensive smear campaign against his opponent – as well as a substantial bribe to the king’s agent, Thomas Cromwell.

"Thankfully things have moved on since then!"

He added at the time: "I hope the villagers will be out in numbers to record their votes, we’ll be well stocked with ice creams for anyone who needs longer to mull over their ballot paper."

While it's not clear if voters will be treated to ice creams at this year's election, they will still be able to marvel at the history surrounding them as they mark the ballot.

The Abbey is the second oldest religious foundation in Somerset, and although many of the principal buildings were demolished as part of the dissolution by Henry VIII in 1538. 

Visitors can still see the clearly laid out foundations, parts of the richly decorated cloister walk, and the thatched monks’ lavatory - the only one of its kind in Britain.