Waverley Abbey

Situated on the flood plain to the north of the River Wey, near Farnham, this was the first Cistercian Abbey in the country.

Ruins of Waverley Abbey, by Henry De Cort (1742-1810)  Surrey History Centre ref. 4348/4/54/1

Ruins of Waverley Abbey, by Henry De Cort (1742-1810)
Surrey History Centre ref. 4348/4/54/1

It was founded in 1128 and dissolved at the Reformation in 1536. The Abbey survives as the ruins of the monastic buildings surrounded by an undisturbed monastic precinct comprising earthwork and buried remains, bordered to the south and east by the River Wey and to the north by the remains of the 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. Surrounding these remains are the buried foundations of the rest of the monastic complex.

 Waverley Abbey, photographed in 1961  Image: Surrey County Council

Waverley Abbey, photographed in 1961
Image: Surrey County Council

The site was excavated by Surrey Archaeological Society between 1890-1903.

The site is a Scheduled Monument. It is managed by English Heritage, and site access is free. For more details, please see the English Heritage website.

Further information

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