Waverley Abbey in Surrey was the very first monastery founded in Britain by the reforming Cistercian religious order. A small group of monks from France settled in this quiet spot by the River Wey in 1128, and Waverley soon became the springboard for Cistercian settlement in southern England. The impressive remains include the fine 13th century vaulted refectory or dining hall for the lay brothers, the Cistercians' labour force.
Read more about Waverley Abbey's history.
In more recent times, the abbey has been used as a backdrop to the films Elizabeth (1998) and Disney's Into the Woods (2014).
Before You Go
Access: The ruins are approximately 350 metres from the car park across uneven turf.
Parking: There is limited parking at the site. The ruins are roughly a five minute walk from the car park.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
Be Aware: Photography and Filming at Waverley Abbey
English Heritage welcomes family-friendly photography at Waverley Abbey and we hope you will share your pictures with us on Flickr and Facebook.
We do have restrictions on all commercial photography, so if this is the reason for your visit please email Filming.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07979 247 943 for our terms and conditions.
We are keen to promote the use of our sites to location managers. If you are interested please go to (Filming Locations) for more information and contacts.
The flying of drones from or over sites in our care is only permitted with prior, written approval from English Heritage by operators who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.
Plan a Great Day Out
Refresh yourself at nearby Farnham and explore Farnham Castle Keep, just two miles from Waverley Abbey.
A little further afield is Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre. Go back in time and explore the history of the site.
Or, for something completely different, you could admire the Greek Revival architecture of The Grange at Northington and picnic in the picturesque park.
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.
- 66% Self-generated income
- 20% One off capital grant
- 14% Government funding