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The History of Vale


T


he building we now know as Vale Royal Abbey was founded by Prince


Edward, the future king Edward I prior to his accession to the throne. In 1263, the Prince was undertaking a sea voyage from France when his ship was caught in a violent storm. He made a vow that if he came safe to land he would found an Abbey as a thanksgiving to God for saving him. In 1270, the Abbey was built by the new King for monks of the Cistercian Order.


Vale Royal Abbey was closed in 1538 by Henry VIII as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries Act. Much of the Abbey including the Church was demolished but some of the cloister buildings were


incorporated into a mansion by Tomas Holcroft, an important Government official during the 1540’s.


Over subsequent centuries, the house was considerably altered and extended by successive generations. Te building still contains some surviving rooms from the medieval Abbey including the refectory and the kitchen. Te foundations of the Church and the cloisters have also been excavated. Te Abbey is a Grade II listed building.


Today little remains of the great church, though archaeological work has revealed many details of its structure. A stone circular monument, known as the ‘Nun’s Grave’,


Vale Royal Abbey


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