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PIPEWELL ABBEY

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The remains of the Cistercian abbey of St Mary de Divisis. The abbey was founded in 1143 by William Batevileyn, as a daughter house of New Minster Abbey. The original monastic buildings were constructed soon after the foundation of the abbey, but were entirely rebuilt in the early 14th century, the church being dedicated in 1311 and the cemetery, cloisters and chapter house in 1312. The abbey was dissolved in 1538, and by 1548 the buildings were ruinous and were later systematically demolished for their stone. Small scale excavations, carried out in 1909 by Brakespear, discovered the site of the church and cloisters and a stone coffin containing an undisturbed skeleton in the chapter house. The west end of the church and the western range of the cloisters partly underlie the buildings of Home Farm, and stone foundations have been noted during previous building works in the vicinity of the farmyard. Immediately to the west is the site of the cloister garth, a level area bounded to the south and east by low earthworks. An area of further low earthworks lies to the south of the cloisters, and is believed to include ancillary buildings associated with the southern range of the cloisters such as the remains of kitchens and food storage and preparation areas, as well as the remains of the water supply and drainage systems and sluices. A large earthen and rubble mound measuring over 4 metres high and 12 metres in diameter, is located to the south east of the cloistral range. This is believed to be the location of a windmill. To the south west of the claustral range are the partly infilled remains of two parallel rectangular fishponds. To the south of the brook and west of Abbey Cottages is an area of further earthworks, cut into terraces, where stone foundations have been noted and a large number of oyster shells uncovered. The location and occurrence of oyster shells in the vicinity suggest that this area may have been the site of the infirmary. Scheduled.

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