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Beaulieu Abbey (Cistercian)

 

THE CISTERCIANS IN BRITAIN

PARADOXPLACE PAGES ON THE CISTERCIANS - MASTER EUROPEAN ABBEY BUILDERS

 

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The Cistercian Abbey of Beaulieu in Hampshire was founded by King John (1167-1199-1216 (49)) in 1204, in one of the "on" periods of his off - on - off again  relationship with the Cistercians in England and Pope Innocent III in Rome.  It became one of the biggest Cistercian Abbeys in Britain, but was eventually closed by Henry VIII in 1538, whereupon all the stones were carted off by the new owner - mostly to build the next door "Palace".  The refectory was taken over (and thus preserved) as the Beaulieu parish church, and the lay brothers' dormitory building is still there, along with the outer walls of the cloister area and (oddly) the night stairs from what would have been the monk's dormitory to the south transept of the abbey church.  Nowadays the name Beaulieu is more widely associated with their amazing motor museum (not in the abbey grounds).

 

Looking east down what would have been a most impressive nave
Looking south through the chapter house doorways towards the cloister and the lay brothers' accommodation.  On the left is the old refectory, now the parish church.

The night stairs which led from the monk's dormitory over the chapter house into the south transept of the abbey church

The refectory - now parish church.  On the right is a typical (if restyled) Cistercian setup of a recessed stairway to a pulpit from which the monks would be read to as they munched away in silence.

More photos to come + the cars of the British Motor Museum

 

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