Titchfield Abbey sits just outside Fareham in Hampshire and was once a medieval Abbey before then becoming a Country House. It is looked after English Heritage and is free to visit, though there is a small fee for the car park (although we had lunch in the pub opposite and they were happy for us to leave our car there whilst we wandered across the road). There is no gift shop, cafe or toilet facilities, this isnt a National Trust house, this is a beautiful ruin that is open from 10am everyday and accessed by wandering up the path.
First built in the 13th century, Titchfield Abbey in Hampshire was the home of a community of Premonstratensian canons. The canons lived communally, like monks, but also preached and served as priests in the local community. After the Suppression of the Monasteries, Henry VIII gave the abbey to Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who transformed the buildings into a grand Tudor mansion called Place House. The most impressive feature of the abbey today is a grand turreted gatehouse, which was built across the nave of the church
You get a real feel for how life was lived in the Abbey by wandering through it, it is easy to imagine those huge fireplaces roaring with a log fire, or warming water for baths. You also get a sense of how short people were when you see where the second floor would have been when the Abbey was originally built!
It is remarkable to see just how much of the original footprint is still in tact. There are even medieval floor tiles still in existence.
You can read more of the history of the Abbey, and how it then became Place House after the dissolution of the monasteries here
Hard to believe that Charles 1, Elizabeth 1, and Edward VI have all walked through that front door isn’t it?