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Waverley Abbey


Fragments of the church and monastic buildings of the first Cistercian abbey in England, founded in 1128. The impressive remains include the fine 13th-century vaulted refectory or dining hall for the lay brothers, the Cistercians' labour force. The abbey is set in a loop of the River Wey, which would have aided the monk's in their quest for solitude. In 1201 the abbey buildings were badly flooded. This became a common occurrence and as a result the abbey was substantially rebuilt during the 13th century. It continued to grow in the 14th century. The monks and lay brothers farmed the surrounding land, were active in the Cistercian wool trade and provided shelter for pilgrims and travellers and an infirmary for the sick. In 1536, with the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the site passed to Sir William Fitzherbert, treasurer of the king's household. Much of the abbey was dismantled and some of the stone was reused to build Sir William More's house at Loseley, a few miles to the east.

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Waverley Abbey

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