Ancient Monuments

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Bindon Abbey (site)

A Scheduled Monument in Wool, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6804 / 50°40'49"N

Longitude: -2.208 / 2°12'28"W

OS Eastings: 385400.235089

OS Northings: 86773.956319

OS Grid: SY854867

Mapcode National: GBR 21K.6LZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 6788.TW3

Entry Name: Bindon Abbey (site)

Scheduled Date: 15 October 1924

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002703

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 58

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Wool

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Wool, East Burton and Combe Keynes

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Part of Bindon Abbey.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15 December 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes part of the Cistercian Bindon Abbey situated on the southern banks of the River Frome to the west of the settlement of Wool. The part of the abbey survives as the visible low standing walls of buildings including the church and monastic ranges arranged around a central courtyard or cloister with other structures, deposits and layers preserved as buried features. Most of the walling stands to between 2.4m and 3m high, whilst only the wall of the western end of the church is higher at approximately 7m. The plan of the buildings is typical for the Cistercian order with the church to the north, the chapter house and dormitory range to the east, the frater to the south and cellared range to the west. Bindon Abbey was founded in 1172 by Roger de Newburgh and replaced the earlier foundation at Little Bindon. It was dissolved in 1539 and granted to Sir Thomas Poyning and Viscount Bindon converted the buildings to a fine house. Acquired by Humphrey Weld in 1641, it was burnt down during the English Civil War in around 1644. The abbey is Listed Grade I.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597 to the reign of Henry VIII, monasticism formed an important facet of both religious and secular life in the British Isles. Settlements of religious communities, including monasteries, were built to house communities of monks, canons (priests), and sometimes lay-brothers, living a common life of religious observance under some form of systematic discipline. It is estimated from documentary evidence that over 700 monasteries were founded in England. These ranged in size from major communities with several hundred members to tiny establishments with a handful of brethren. They belonged to a wide variety of different religious orders, each with its own philosophy. As a result, they vary considerably in the detail of their appearance and layout, although all possess the basic elements of church, domestic accommodation for the community, and work buildings. Monasteries were inextricably woven into the fabric of medieval society, acting not only as centres of worship, learning and charity, but also, because of the vast landholdings of some orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence. They were established in all parts of England, some in towns and others in the remotest of areas. Many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish churches, almshouses, hospitals, farming estates and tenant villages.

Some 75 of these religious houses belonged to the Cistercian order founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th century. The Cistercians - or `white monks', on account of their un-dyed habits - led a harsher life than earlier monastic orders, believing in the virtue of a life of austerity, prayer and manual labour. Seeking seclusion, they founded their houses in wild and remote areas where they undertook major land improvement projects. Their communities were often very large and included many lay brethren who acted as ploughmen, dairymen, shepherds, carpenters and masons. The Cistercians' skills as farmers eventually made the order one of the richest and most influential. They were especially successful in the rural north of England where they concentrated on sheep farming. The Cistercians made a major contribution to many facets of medieval life and all of their monasteries which exhibit significant surviving archaeological remains are worthy of protection.

The part of Bindon Abbey survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, agricultural practices, social, economic and religious significance, function, subsequent re-use and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-455143

Source: Historic England

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