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Waverley Abbey

Waverley Abbey was Britain’s first Cistercian Abbey.

The ruins of Waverley Abbey © Michele Sheppard A&FCC
The ruins of Waverley Abbey © Michele Sheppard A&FCC

Waverley Abbey was built in 1128 and is situated approximately 3 miles south of Farnham on the B3001. 

Waverley Abbey was the foundation house in England of the new Cistercian order of the monks where manual work was encouraged and the liturgy simplified. The reliance of lay brothers to work the land proved very attractive to the uneducated by 1150 there were five other communities in England including Fountains Reivaux and Tintern Abbeys.

Waverley continued to grow until late in the 14 century, providing shelter for pilgrims and an infirmary for the sick. Unfortunately, the Abbey was not well endowed and suppressed by Henry VIII in 1536. Afterwards the Abbey became a convenient source of local building material. 

The Abbeys ruins sit next to the river Wey and provide a picturesque picnic spot. 

Visit and be absorbed in thought of Brother Cadfaels alter ego living, working and worshipping on this spot.

Waverley Abbey is managed by English Heritage and entrance to the site is free of charge.

More information is available from the English Heritage website.

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