Hulton Abbey

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Hulton Abbey
Monastery information
Order Cistercian
Established 1223
Disestablished 1538
Dedicated to Virgin Mary
Founder(s) Henry de Audley
Location Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Public access Yes

Hulton Abbey was a former monastery located in what is now Abbey Hulton, a suburb of Stoke-on-Trent. A daughter house of the Cistercian Combermere Abbey, the abbey was founded by Henry de Audley in the early 13th century. The abbey was relatively small and poor, with one of the lowest incomes of all Staffordshire religious houses, ahead of only Brewood Priory.[1] The abbey was dissolved in 1538.



Hulton Abbey was founded by Henry de Audley in 1223, although the first monks were professed in 1219. Henry founded the abbey, like many noblemen of his time, for the souls of his family and that the monks would celebrate mass "'all the days of the world' for the souls of Ranulph, Henry, Henry's predecessors and successors, and all the faithful departed."[1]

13th-16th Centuries[edit]

The abbey received a number of grants of land from the Audley family and other local landowners. In 1349, James Audley gave the advowson of Audley, Staffordshire to the abbey, however as a royal license had not previously been secured a 200 mark fine was imposed by the king. This fine was reduced by half in 1351, due to the abbey's relative poverty. In 1340, Nicholas Audley, 3rd Baron Audley, gave the advowson of Biddulph church to the abbey.[1] Although mainly sheep farmers in the 13th century, the monks also ran a tannery in the local area, and by the 16th century were operating coal mines in Hulton and Hanley.[1]


With an income of "£87 10s. 1½d" in 1535,[1] the abbey should have been suppressed under the Suppression of Religious Houses Act 1535, which dictated all religious houses with an annual income of less than £200 should be dissolved.[2] Despite this, the Crown granted an exemption in exchange for a fine of " £66 13s. 4d".[1]

In 1538 Brian Tuke, Treasurer of the Household, petitioned the Crown to grant the abbey and its lands to his son-in-law, George Tuchet, 9th Baron Audley. When the abbot surrendered the abbey in September 1538, the property did not pass to Lord Audley but was later sold to Sir Edward Aston in 1543.[1] The king granted the monks pensions, with the last abbot, Edward Wilkyns, receiving £20 a year.[1]

Conservation status[edit]

Hulton Abbey is a Scheduled Monument.[3] It was excavated between 1987 and 1994 by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h M W Greenslade, R B Pugh (Editors), G C Baugh, Revd L W Cowie, Revd J C Dickinson, A P Duggan, A K B Evans, R H Evans, Una C Hannam, P Heath, D A Johnston, Professor Hilda Johnstone, Ann J Kettle, J L Kirby, Revd R Mansfield, Professor A Saltman (1970). "A History of the County of Stafford" 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Monthly Review or, Literary Journal" 21. London. 1759. p. 275. 
  3. ^ "Scheduled monuments in Stoke-on-Trent". Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°02′22″N 2°08′33″W / 53.03944°N 2.14250°W / 53.03944; -2.14250