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Historic England Research Records

Waverley Abbey

Hob Uid: 247212
Location :
Surrey
Waverley
Farnham
Grid Ref : SU8677045280
Summary : The ruins of Waverley Abbey, the first Cistercian monastery to be established in Britain. It was founded in 1128 on the 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 surviving ruins of the abbey include the lay brothers' frater, part of the monks' dorter, the parlour, the chapter house and fragments of the nave, presbytery, and north and south transepts of the church. These are surrounded by a number of earthworks and buried remains within the abbey precinct. The precinct covered an area of about 24 hectares and was bordered by the River Wey to the south and east and by the remains of the precinct wall to the north. The cemetery is situated to the east and north of the church. To the west of the main abbey complex are earthworks relating to water management and cultivation, including fishponds and areas of ridge and furrow. The monastic complex was excavated by Surrey Archaeological Society in 1890-1903. The site is in the care of English Heritage.
More information : [SU 8680 4528] Waverley Abbey [GT] (Cistercian, found
A.D. 1128) (1)

Cistercian Abbey founded 1128 and dissolved 1536 to which a hospital was possibly added in the14th century.
The first Cistercian house to be established in Britain. (2)

Excavated by Surrey Archaeological Society 1890-1903 The dorter and vaulted cellarer's building, parlour and part of the chapter house are still standing.
[AO/LP/62/104] (3)

The site is scheduled. (4)

The remains of Waverley Abbey, which are at present being restored by the Ministry of Works, comprise: The Lay Brothers Frater, part of the Monk's Dorter, The Parlour, The Chapter House and fragments of the Nave, Presbytery, and North and South Transepts.
Pub 1:2500 revised GP AO/06/220/1 & 2 Panoramic views of frater and dorter from E. AO/06/220/3 Chapter House from S.E. (5)

(SU 86804528). Please refer to this source for information on Cistercian buildings. (6)

Waverley Abbey was founded in 1128 and dissolved in 1536 (7)

The abbey was the first Cistercian monastery to be established in Britain and was dissolved in 1536. The Abbey survives as the ruins of the monastic buildings surrounded by an undisturbed monastic precinct. The ruins include the lay brothers' frater, part of the monks' dorter, the parlour, the chapter house and fragments of the nave, presbytery, and north and south transepts of the church. Surrounding these remains are the buried foundations of the rest of the monastic complex. Ranged around the cloisters, the chapter house and the parlour are to the east and extend through the infirmary, the monks' dorter, frater and reredorter are to the south and the lay brothers' accommodation and guest house are to the west. The cemetery is situated to the east and north of the church. The cloistral buildings were built on the southern edge of the monastic precinct which covered an area of circa 24 hectares, adjacent to the River Wey. To the west the buried foundations of the brew house survive. West of the main abbey complex are earthworks relating to water management and cultivation. These include fishponds and areas of ridge and furrow cultivation. Following the abbeys founding in 1128, its buildings were badly flooded and all but carried away in 1201. A period of great rebuilding occurred during the 13th century and it is from this period that the standing remains date. Foundations of a new church were laid in 1203-4 and were only completed in 1278. (8)

The ruins of the first Cistercian abbey founded in England (1128). (9)

Waverley Abbey is situated on the flood plain to the north of the River Wey. It was founded in 1128, a hospital was added in the 14th century and it was dissolved in 1536. There are surviving ruins of the monastic buildings including earthwork and buried remains of the monastic precinct. This was bordered by the River Wey and a precinct wall. The ruins include the lay brothers' frater, part of the monks' dorter, the parlour, the chapter house and fragments of the nave, presbytery, and north and south transepts of the church. The site was excavated by Surrey Archaeological Society 1890-1903. For more information please refer to the HER record. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 117, 316
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Source : SU 84 NE 22 (Waverley Abbey) (1966)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Waverley Abbey
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ancient monuments in England and Wales : list prepared by the Ministry of Works, corrected to 31st December 1960
Source details :
Page(s) : 87
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 FGA 14-OCT-66
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Source Number : 6
Source : Farnham and District Museum Society newsletter
Source details : NJ Megson
Page(s) : 173-4
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Vol(s) : 4, 9th March 1977
Source Number : 7
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Surrey: volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 77-89
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Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 30-Dec-92
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Source Number : 9
Source : English Heritage Visitor Handbook 2009/10
Source details :
Page(s) : 78
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Source Number : 10
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Exploring Surreys Past. 2009. HER 1732 - Waverley Abbey, [Accessed 29-APR-2009]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded 1128
Monument End Date : 1128
Monument Start Date : 1128
Monument Type : Cistercian Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt after 1203 until 1278
Monument End Date : 1278
Monument Start Date : 1203
Monument Type : Refectory, Dormitory, Chapter House, Infirmary, Lay Brothers Range, Guest House, Brewhouse, Monastic Precinct, Church, Abbey, Cistercian Monastery, Priests House
Evidence : Ruined Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Added 14th C
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Infirmary
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Dissolved 1536
Monument End Date : 1536
Monument Start Date : 1536
Monument Type : Cistercian Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23003
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SU 21
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Surrey)
External Cross Reference Number : 1732
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 229
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 23867/11
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 84 NE 22
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 244084
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 518740
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1075107
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WAVERLEY ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1898-01-01
End Date : 1903-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 84 NE 22
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-10-14
End Date : 1966-10-14