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Waverley Abbey, Farnham

4.6
Waverley Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey in England. It was founded in 1128 by William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester. Located in Farnham, Surrey, about southeast of the town centre, the abbey is situated on a floodplain, surrounded by current and previous channels of the River Wey. It was damaged on more than one occasion by severe flooding, resulting in rebuilding in the 13th century. Despite being the first Cistercian abbey in England, and being motherhouse to several other abbeys, Waverley was "slenderly endowed" and its monks are recorded as having endured poverty and famine.The abbey was closed in 1536 as part of King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Subsequently largely demolished, its stone was reused in local buildings, including "Waverley Abbey House", which was built in 1723 in the northern portion of the former abbey precinct.Waverley Abbey House, the ruins of the abbey and the surrounding land are all part of a conservation area. The house is a Grade II* Listed building and the ruins a Scheduled Ancient Monument.The ruins of the abbey are currently managed by English Heritage and open to the public.HistoryWaverley Abbey was founded by Bishop William Giffard on 24 November 1128. The first abbot and 12 monks were brought from L'Aumône Abbey in Normandy, France.
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  • The ruins of this former Cistercian Monastery are interesting, because it was the first of this religious community in England. It was founded already in 1128. It was, like so much else, the resolution command of Heinrich VIII to the victims. It is located in the green countryside of Surrey, located near fern hams, and offers also idyllic and romantic views over a stone bridge across the Waverley Abbey House, which today can be booked for events and meetings. Also, it has been used in movies as a backdrop. For the ruins, you'll pay no admission of the Abbey, they lie in grass landscape, equipped with some information and information signs of English Heritage. The area offers a beautiful setting for a picnic, is also to play with children enough space. All ruins are accessible. There are no toilets, and the road from the small car park on the road is uneven. The entire system including the Lake offers very nice photo opportunities.
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  • There is a little free car park next to Waverley Abbey House. It is then a 10 minute beautiful walk down by the river to the abbey. You pass many ducks and geese and overlook Waverley Abbey House whic...  more »
  • It's a lovely spot for a short walk and it's really fascinating how some areas are so intact but others are just rubble. There isn't a very large car park but it's a really quiet spot and would be a g...  more »
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  • This place is as quiet as it is ancient. There's an info board near the old yew tree in the corner. It shows a picture of the walls existing and supposed. I found it good to get a feel for the enormity of the ruins. There is cover from the rain but take wellies if it's been wet. There are a few WW2 pill boxes around too. Don't expect York Minster!
  • The location is extremely picturesque with Waverley Abbey House on the other side of one of the canals. There are some signs with basic information about the Abbey and the people who built them. All in all it takes less than 1 hour to see all the ruins and read all the information. Great opportunities for pictures
  • Pleasant ruins of victim of Henry VIII disolution of monestaries in 1536. Easy flat going and not too far to walk for elderly folk
  • Great place to just unwind and walk around the ruins.
  • Very pretty place...Loads of history...Great place for a picnic on a sunny day...Check the old yew tree out...very old....

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