Bayham Abbey

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Bayham abbey is situated on the Sussex-Kent border near Polegate. It was the first of twenty seven houses of the Premonstratensian order founded in England. The Premonstratensians also also know as the white canons due to the their white habits.

The abbey was founded and endowed by Ralph de Dene, a wealthy Norman early in the thirteenth century. The abbey  received additional endowments from the Sackville family and thrived until the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. Henry granted the income from the monastery to Cardinal Wolsey, who used the money to found colleges in Oxford and Ipswich. The income at that time was £4 9s 4½d.

The abbey is now a ruin, but substantial stonework remains, including much of the chapel and gatehouse. The site is open to the public April through September. 

Bayham Abbey slideshow

Visiting Bayham Abbey

Sussex Castles web site © Richard Bird 2011                                                                                                               Historical Sources and References