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
Parking: There is a small car park at the abbey and the ruins are roughly a five-minute walk from it.
Access: The ruins are approximately 350 metres from the car park across a field with uneven turf and through a kissing gate. Please be aware that there may be cattle grazing in the field.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
Please be aware: There is evidence of the presence of adders at this site, distinguished by a zigzag pattern down their backs. They are venomous but quite shy so tend to slither off into undergrowth rather than confront humans. Bites are very rare and tend to happen when people tread on adders so please take care where you walk and keep children and dogs close, and all dogs on a lead. If bitten, medical attention should be sought immediately.
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.