Monument details

HER Number:758/1/6
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Vale Royal Abbey Cloister


The domestic buildings of an abbey were usually positioned on the south side of the church. They were arranged around a square cloister (covered walkway) and connected to the church at the north eastern corner where the Chapter house (meeting room) was.

The west range of the cloister in a Cistercian Abbey traditionally had the lay brothers' dormitory over the cellarer's store. It is no clear if this is the case for the west range of Vale Royal. The whole range was converted into a first floor great hall at the Dissolution.

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. He 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 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.


Monument Types

  • ABBEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • CLOISTER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Hall, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD? (?))
  • DORMITORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • RELIGIOUS HOUSE (Religious site, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • WALL (Wall-stone, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
Protected Status:Listed Building (II*) 1160862: VALE ROYAL ABBEY; 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