Monument details

HER Number:758/1/3
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Vale Royal Abbey Chapter House


The domestic range of buildings in the Abbey were arranged around a square cloister (covered walkway) on the south side of the church.

At Vale Royal on the east side of the cloister was a large chapter house whose foundations and tile floor have been revealed by ground survey and trial excavation. There is no trace of the chapter house above ground.

The Cistercian monastery at Vale Royal was built on land granted by the future Edward I (1272-1307) following his escape from a shipwreck. It was originally founded at Darnhall, but this site proved to be unsuitable for a new Abbey and the new site in the manor of Connersley was chosen and named Vale Royal, reflecting its royal support. The Cistercians were a strict order who followed the rules of St Benedict, adhering to the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. They lived a self sufficient, secluded lifestyle with an emphasis on farming. Their un-dyed robes meant they were known as the "white monks".

In 1539, Henry VIII ordered the abolition of the many monasteries of Britain. He set out to gain their wealth and power for himself as the newly designated head of the Church of England.

Vale Royal Abbey and lands were bought for 450 pounds by Thomas Holcroft at the Dissolution. Holcroft pulled down the church and most of the buildings as ordered, and converted the west and south range of the cloister and some associated buildings into his manor house.

The site is a Scheduled Monument.


Monument Types

  • ABBEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPTER HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RELIGIOUS HOUSE (Religious site, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Wall-stone some (1-100), Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1016862: Vale Royal Abbey

Related records

758/1/0Related to: Vale Royal Abbey (Monument)

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council - Working in Partnership
Heritage Lottery Fund