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WALDEN ABBEY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  BENEDICTINE PRIORY OF ST MARY AND ST JAMES
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The Benedictine Priory of St Mary and St James was founded by Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of Essex, between 1136-44. It became an Abbey in 1190 and was finally dissolved in 1538. Coller states that extensive foundations were buried beneath the eastern lawn and flower beds of Audley End House. Cropmarks perhaps showing parts of the eastern range are visible in aerial photographs taken in 1951. Morant states that foundations and burials were found near the bowling green. Excavations in 1979 have shown that the north, east and south sides of the inner court of Audley End House certainly incorporated, and the west side probably incorporates, the lower parts of the walls surrounding the monastic cloister, therefore confirming that the abbey cloister and inner court of the later Jacobean house were co-extensive:

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