Netley Abbey sits in the village named after it just outside Southampton in Southern England. In fact Netley Abbey is is the most complete surviving abbey built by the Cistercian monks in southern England and is now looked after by English Heritage. It is free to visit and is open year round (do check the website as times change).
In fact it is so in tact it is hard to believe it was built in the 13th Century, especially having seen Titchfield Abbey last week and seeing how little of that has survived despite being a similar age.
When Henry VIII abolished the monasteries it became a private home, to Sir William Paulet who was the 1st Marquess of Winchester and a loyal servant to the King.
Whilst it is hard to see many of the changes made by Paulet because they were removed in the 19th Century it is clear in many places to see how the Monks lived. Above for instance is where basins sat ready for the monks to wash their hands ahead of going into the refectory.
If you find yourself in the area do go, though be warned the car park is tiny. And once you leave head to Woodies Wine Bar for lunch, we stumbled across it and were so pleased we did, it was a great find.