Buildwas Abbey

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Buildwas Abbey is located in Shropshire
Buildwas Abbey
Buildwas Abbey shown within Shropshire
(grid reference SJ642044)

Buildwas Abbey is located along the banks of the River Severn in Buildwas, Shropshire, England, about two miles west of Ironbridge.

Early history[edit]

The Cistercian Abbey of St Mary and St Chad was founded in 1135 by Roger de Clinton, Bishop of Coventry (1129–1148) as a Savignac monastery and was inhabited by a small community of monks from Furness Abbey. The stone from which it was built was quarried in the nearby settlement of Broseley.

The abbey's location near the border of Wales meant it was destined to have a turbulent history. Welsh Princes and their followers regularly raided the Abbey and on one occasion in 1406, during the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, raiders from Powys even kidnapped the abbot. This however paled in comparison to an earlier event in 1342 where one of the Buildwas monks, Thomas Tong, murdered his abbot, managed to evade arrest, and then petitioned for re-instatement into the Cistercian order.

Buildwas Abbey 2.jpg
Buildwas Abbey 3.jpg


The abbey was closed in 1536 by the order of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, whereupon the estate was granted to Edward Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Powis.

Modern history[edit]

The abbot's house and infirmary were later incorporated into the building of a private house in the 17th century for the Acton Moseley family, although the remaining buildings are now in the care of English Heritage. They are open to the public, who can view the church which remains largely complete and unaltered since its original construction, although it is now without its roof.

The remains are considered to be among some of the best preserved twelfth-century examples of a Cistercian church in Britain.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°38′10″N 2°31′50″W / 52.63616°N 2.53043°W / 52.63616; -2.53043