Time Travel to 13th Century: Netley Abbey

Located in Southampton, Hampshire, England is this medieval Netley Abbey which was founded in 1238 by a powerful Bishop of Winchester. Amidst being ruined, this is still the most complete Cistercian monastery in Southern England.

Monastic History

(Source: English Heritage)

Peter des Roches, the powerful Bishop of Winchester, founded the abbey in 1238, but he died later that year before construction began. Work continued without him, and one year later a colony of monks arrived from nearby Beaulieu Abbey. King Henry III (r.1216–72) later became a patron of the monastery.

The monks probably lived in temporary wooden buildings while the stone abbey was being built. When complete, it was home to about 15 monks and 30 lay brothers, officials and servants.

Netley Abbey Drawing

A reconstruction drawing of Netley Abbey as it would have appeared in the late 13th century, the home of a monastic community
© Historic England (illustration by Roger Hutchins)

Netley Abbey, 2017

From an abbey it was used as a mansion then as romantic ruin and  fast forward to 20th century, now known as the ruins of Netley Abbey. The abbey remained to be beautiful as of this date as the English Heritage continued to maintain the beauty of this site.

From the reconstruction drawing above, here is Netley Abbey today.


 

How to get here:

From the city centre of Southampton, you can ride a bus. We planned to ride  First Southampton Bus # 6 to Netley but unfortunately we missed it in split second. So we booked thru Uber and paid GBP 10. It takes 30minutes from city centre to Netley Abbey via bus and 10minutes via car or Uber.  If you are from London, you can ride a Southwest Train to Southampton for just GBP28 roundtrip.


 

Fee:

The place is absolutely free. You can stay here for a day and have a picnic with your family. But we just spent about half an hour to visit the whole place.

 

 

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