Monday, 1 September 2014

Waverley Abbey

  Waverley Abbey was founded in 1128 and was the first Cistercian monastery to be established in Britain.  it is built on a flood plain to the north of the River Wey and in 1201 most of the abbey buildings were badly damaged by flooding. The abbey was rebuilt in the 13th century and the surviving buildings date from this period. The foundations of the new abbey church were laid in 1203-4 but not completed until 1278. In the 14th century a hospital was added to the monastic site. The abbey was dissolved in 1536 by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. (the history was taken from Pastscape). From what I read the last Abbot decided that it was better to go along with the King (Henry VIII) and keep his head rather than oppose him and end up like some of the other Abbots being executed for treason. He and the rest of the monks there ended up with a pension and their lives. The Abbey was demolished and the stone used in local buildings including Waverley Abbey House nearby.

 This is the first view you get of the Abbey as you get near 

Closer view of the ruins

Quite a few of these round the place, the board shows a view of what the Abbey would have looked like from that point
and if you look up from the board you see this view which is how it looks now.

This looks towards one of the old chapels in the Abbey

This would have been one end of the Abbey

Another information board on how the church was built
Two parts of the Abbey with the wall still in place.

 The near part is the Lay Brothers Refectory

It's the most photographed part I might add
 Being as the arch-work is almost intact

Looking out towards the house built on the site and where a lot of the stone went from the Abbey

They did have a fire in the place from the look of things

This view when it was  use would not have been possible as the monks refectory would have blocked it

The outside of the refectory. You can see where the buttresses used to be and have been removed.

The Monks dormitory from the outside, just over to the right is the river   Wey so I have no doubt from time to time they may have gotten their feet wet

View inside the dormitory which if you look you can see some plaster still on the walls to the left

This on one end of the Abbey Church most likely I'd be stood just outside the Chancel and we look down to the nave

 This is the chancel end looking towards the Nave. The wall either side marks the external wall of the chancel.

I Borrowed this photo from the English Heritage Pastscape site and it gives a better Idea to how the Abbey was laid out.


  1. I love the old Abbey ruins, where is Waverley? Super pictures

  2. Bill,
    Even your ruins look good.
    Have a wonderful week, Tom The Backroads Traveller

  3. I really enjoy seeing and visiting old abbey ruins like these. Amazing to consider the history...

  4. A great tour Bill - and some good shots. I particularly liked the moody one of the refectory.

  5. The archway is particularly delightful

  6. What an awesome place with so much history. Thanks for the info.

  7. Wonderful photos as usual Bill. Sorry I haven't been commenting in recent times but I still have been watching.
    I have nominated both your blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award.

  8. i guess you could call these ruins. what a great bit of history as well.

    sorry i am late commenting ... i have been away. ( :

  9. It looks like a lovely place. Great pictures. It makes me want to go there and explore!