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Hyde Abbey was founded in 1110 to replace the New Minster at Winchester, which had been supplanted by the new Norman Cathedral. So the Benedictine monks moved their library, relics - and the bodies of King Alfred, his wife Alswitha and son, Edward the Elder to the newly built abbey. The abbey was badly damaged during the Anarchy, but was rebuilt, became a place of pilgrimage and survived until 1539, when it was surrendered to Henry VIII’s commissioners. Most of the buildings were destroyed, its treasures dispersed and the monks pensioned off. In the 18th century, a prison was built on part of the site. That too has gone now and all that remains of the once-great abbey is a an impressive, though pigeon-infested, stone gateway, an arch that used to span the abbey millstream and St Bartholomew’s church opposite, which had been built for the pilgrims and lay-brothers. Most of the site of the abbey is now covered with housing. Just down the road along King Alfred Place is Hyde Abbey Garden, where the site of the high altar and the graves of King Alfred & Co are thought to have been.
This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022.
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