This post was most recently updated on February 16th, 2018
Until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Henry VIII’s time the abbeys and priories of England were hives of activity – 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
The place that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula…
2. Tewkesbury Abbey
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, Essex, England. The nave of the abbey has been converted into the Church of the Holy Cross and St Lawrence.
4. Shrewsbury Abbey
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
6. Malmesbury Abbey
7. Hexham Abbey
8. Westminster Abbey
9. Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England.
10. Amesbury Abbey
The church is cruciform in shape with an Early Gothic crossing tower and lofty lancets.