Subject The History of Warden Abbey and its Vineyard
Margaret Roberts
January 27, 2016


The location of the vineyard has hardly changed with time. The first abbot, Simon, was a pupil of Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx. The success of the abbey may be inferred from the foundation of a daughter house, Sibton Abbey, Suffolk, as soon as 1150.

By 1252 the monks had more land under cultivation than they could work by their own labour in the early Cistercian way: nineteen granges were recorded in that year.

Wardon Abbey was dissolved in 1537 under Henry VIII, and the estate was sold for £389 16s 6d. The new owner demolished most of the buildings in 1552 to sell the materials, and then built a new red brick mansion, bearing the name Warden Abbey House. Later in 1790, most of this Tudor house was pulled down by its owners, the Whitbreads of nearby Southill leaving only a north-east wing, which still stands today.

The exact footprint of the Abbey is unknown but future planned geophysics will hopefully solve this problem.