Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hailes Abbey

Joining Inspired Sunday by reaching back into treasury of old photos from past journeys.  These come from our walking tour in the Cotswolds in June 2014 described starting here.

On the Winchcombe to Broadway section of our walk we visited Hailes Abbey arriving just at opening time. Text below in italics comes from material provided by our tour, author unknown.

In the decade from 1536 to 1547, just about every English religious institution that was not a parish church was either closed or destroyed. This was the Dissolution.  Henry VIII's draconian method of forcing the monasteries to give up their enormous wealth.

Hailes monastery, which owned 13,000 acres and 8000 sheep, making it one of the most powerful Cistercian monasteries in the country, was a particular target for reformers.

In 1270 Edmund Earl of Cornwall, the son of its founder, had given the monastery a phial supposed to contain the blood of Christ.

According to Hugh Latimer of Worcester who had been with working with Thomas Cromwell, the king's Commissioner responsible for seeing to the  closure of monasteries, and who is reputed to have surveyed the destruction of the monastery ... he spent an afternoon in 1529 looking at the 'blood', concluding that it was nothing more than and 'unctuous gum and compound of many things'.

Once the valuables had been removed, local people took what was left. The monastery lands were disposed of in a typical manner.  First they were confiscated by the Crown and then sold to a  speculator who sold the land in lots. 

The monks were dispersed - a few managed to to secure positions as part of the parish clergy, whilst others took up posts with the cathedrals at Bristol and Gloucester.  Others returned to the laity.

Below are some of the artifacts found that would have been part of the Abbey.

Hailes Church, all that remains of Hailes village, predates the abbey and survived the Dissolution perhaps because it had been a parish church.

We did not enter the church as there was a service set to start.


Jackie Mc Guinness said...


Tom said...

just a flicker of history remains

Cranberry Morning said...

Fantastic photos and history. If England had a climate like Wisconsin, they wouldn't have ruins, but would just have rubble because of deep frozen earth in winter along with thawing and heaving each spring. No thanks to Henry VIII, but I'm grateful there are still so many ruins for us to see. And some are pretty extensive. Enjoyed your post.

Elizabeth Edwards said...

i love the ruins. very cute sheep too. what history. wonder if they are haunted? ( :

doodles n daydreams said...

An interesting post. i love the ruins, they were certainly turbulent times with Henry VIII.


♥ Łucja-Maria ♥ said...

Hello Marcia!
The beautiful ruins of the monastery. I am delighted.
Blessed Sunday.
Greetings from Poland.

Tony McGurk said...

Lovely to see the remaining ruins & interesting to read of Henry VIII's actions involving the monastary. Nice that the old church survived. I like the sheep photo too.
It always amazes me that while Australia's oldest buildings & ruins are only about 200 years old at the most whereas English & European history goes so far back & still has buildings to see from many many centuries ago.

** Podróżniczka .**** said...

Hello Marcia!
Very interesting are the temple ruins. Looking at the pictures I wonder how this sacred building looked like in its heyday.
Yours Bluethroat.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marcia,
Dear and I were in the Cotswolds June of 2014, too. Maybe we saw each other out and about. Wonderful photos of Hailes. We visited it in 2004 before I had a digital camera! Have a great week.

Bill Nicholls said...

I like to work out how the abbeys were laid out when I visit ruined ones. I have never been to Hailes Abbey but intend to. The church no doubt survived because they became Church of England instead of Catholic like they were. Survival of the fittest like they say or in those days keeping your head on your sholders

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