It’s been a long time, but as promised here are the black and white photographs from Netley Abbey, Southampton. I’m sure the people in Boots photography department were getting sick of the sight of me asking where my film had disappeared to!
The ruins of the abbey are undeniably beautiful, but I was more interested in the finer details. What gives the ruins their atmosphere?
The history of Netley Abbey can be found [here].
Standing close to Southampton Water, Netley Abbey is the most complete surviving Cistercian monastery in southern England. After the Suppression of the Monasteries the buildings were converted into a mansion for Sir William Paulet. The ruins now reflect over 800 years of change, during which the abbey was transformed from a monastic house to a mansion house, and later to a romantic ruin.
Unlike so many historical monuments, the abbey is peaceful, and more often than not, empty. Surrounded by dense forest, the first time I visited I was unaware of the great towering walls until they were right in front of me.
Supposedly most complete Cistercian monastery in Southern England, this is something to be treasured. Is it haunted? Possibly. Historically significant? Most definitely. Haunted or not, I feel privileged to live close to such a stunning location.