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WAVERLEY ABBEY

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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.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.