Oh how I wanted to rename that Waverley Wabbey.
Child that I am.
Anyway. Yes. Waverley Abbey is another little find that is just up the road from us. We attempted to find it last year but realised, it being ruins and all, that it was along a footpath from the car park. And I was wearing slip on shoes.
This time though we came prepared and made sure we had boots. Even in the summer I am sure the path gets muddy as it runs between a field and a river, so if you are planning on going, definitely wear trainers at least. And sadly you wont make it with a wheelchair.
Or a fat arse.
There are two “kissing gates” to negotiate and a backside any wider than mine would mean not getting in. But I made it, so you will be fine.
The monastery at Waverley, the first Cistercian house to be established in Britain, was founded by William Gifford, Bishop of Winchester, in 1128. It was colonised with 12 monks and an abbot from Aumone in France. By 1187 there were 70 monks and 120 lay brothers in residence.
In 1201 the abbey buildings were badly flooded. This became a common occurrence and as a result the abbey was substantially rebuilt during the 13th century.
It continued to grow in the 14th century. The monks and lay brothers farmed the surrounding land, were active in the Cistercian wool trade and provided shelter for pilgrims and travellers and an infirmary for the sick.
It was incredible to sit and look through a window that has been in place for over 900 years. Wondering how the scenery beyond had changed over that time. And also wondering about the lives of those who had knelt where I now was. Hard to fully comprehend to be honest.
I am so pleased we made the effort to get back there and see it. I was really surprised by how much of the ruins were actually still standing, I had half expected it to be just a footprint. And also it was great to see so many people visiting. There must have been four or five other families out and about with dogs and cameras. Well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.