Netley Abbey - Foundation

Foundation

Netley was founded in 1239 by Peter des Roches, a powerful politician, government official, and Bishop of Winchester from 1205–1238. The abbey was one of a pair the bishop conceived as a memorial to himself; the other is La Clarté-Dieu in Saint-Paterne-Racan, France. Des Roches began to purchase the lands for Netley's initial endowment in about 1236, but he died before the project was finished and the foundation was completed by his executors. According to the Chronicle of Waverley Abbey, the first monks arrived to settle the site on 25 July 1239 from neighbouring Beaulieu Abbey, a year after the bishop's death. As its founder had died before the vital task of collecting the endowment was complete, the abbey started its life in a difficult financial situation. It is thought that little work took place on the permanent stone monastery until the house was taken under the wing of Henry III, who became interested in the abbey in the mid-1240s and eventually assumed the role of patron in 1251.

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