Stanley Abbey and its lands after the Dissolution – Dr Graham Brown

White monks from Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight founded a daughter house at Stanley in 1153, and for nearly 400 years it was the dominant landowner for a large swathe of land in Chippenham Forest. It also owned large tracts of land on the Marlborough Downs, as well as land elsewhere in the county and beyond. But what became of the monastery and its lands after it was dissolved in 1536?

This talk will examine the archaeological, landscape, and historical evidence for the transition from a monastic to a secular landscape from 1536 to c.1640. It will look at the abbey and its precinct, as well as the former home grange, which occupied land to the south of Chippenham.

Graham Brown was a field archaeologist, who worked for RCHME and English Heritage for nearly 20 years before his retirement in 2010. Although he worked on numerous sites and landscapes throughout England, his main interest is the medieval period, and particularly monastic sites. He studied Stanley Abbey and its estates for his PhD.

Recorded on 16th December 2020