Gallery: The Abbeys And Priories of England

The abbeys and priories of England were hives of activity until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Henry VIII’s time the – and often the focal point of a local area.

Many didn’t survive Henry’s wrath – but some carried on, were turned into parish churches or left to turn to (still magnificent) ruin.

Here then is a flavour of these remarkable buildings…

1. Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

By Wilson44691Own work, CC0, Link

Overlooking the harbour in Whitby, a pretty Yorkshire seaside town, stands Whitby Abbey, the place that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula…

2. Tewkesbury Abbey


By Saffron BlazeOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Tewkesbury Abbey was founded in 1087; however, building of the present structure seen here did not start until 1102. Built to house Benedictine monks, the Abbey was was consecrated in 1121 (Norman era).

3. Waltham Abbey

Waltham Abbey

By JohnArmaghOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Waltham Abbey, Essex, England. The nave of the abbey has been converted into the Church of the Holy Cross and St Lawrence.

4. Shrewsbury Abbey


By DiliffOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Shrewsbury (commonly known as Shrewsbury Abbey) is an ancient foundation in Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England.

5. Sherborne Abbey


By Wilson44691Own work, CC0, Link

The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne in the English county of Dorset, is usually called Sherborne Abbey. It has been a Saxon cathedral (705–1075), a Benedictine abbey (998–1539), and since 1539, a parish church of the Church of England.

6. Malmesbury Abbey


By Adrian PingstoneOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Malmesbury Abbey, at Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England, is a religious house dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul. It was one of the few English houses with a continuous history from the 7th century through to the Dissolution of the Monasteries

7. Hexham Abbey


By Bob CastleOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

8. Westminster Abbey

westminster abbey

By en:User:Tebbettsen:User:Tebbetts on English Wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

Probably the most famous Abbey in the world. Home to Royal marriages, funerals and coronations.

9. Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

Author: Antony McCallum, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England.

10. Amesbury Abbey

Gallery: The Abbeys And Priories of England 1

By Trish Steel, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The church is cruciform in shape with an Early Gothic crossing tower and lofty lancets.