For over two thousand years the curious have visited the picturesque 13th century ruins in the vilage of Netley Abbey on 
Southampton Water.

The buildings that now comprise Netley Abbey ruins were first know to the monks of the Cistercian Order who lived in the Abbey for over three hundred years, commissioners of King Henry VIII, the first Marquis of Winchester.

Legends of Netley Abbey

As expected, Netley Abbey has its legends, ghosts and of course a curse which is said to date from the time of the dissolution of the monsteries. One of the Abbey Monks, ‘Blind Peter’ became the guardian of the Abbey’s treasure against Henry VIII. In an attempt to find the treasure, a gentleman named Mr Slown arrived at the Abbey and began to dig a hole. Moments later he ran away screaming and collapsed within minutes from a heart attack uttering his dying words ‘For God’s sake, block it up.’

Another victim of the curse was local builder Walter Taylor. In 1700, when Taylor was intent of removing  stones from the site to to use in a town house, he had a terrible nightmare. In the dream, he was visited by a monk who warned him of great mischief if he was to continue with this plans. However, contrary to his advice, Taylor took part in the demolition and in the course of tearing down a board, he loosened a stone that fell and fractured his head.


Inspiration of Netley Abbey

Many great poets, painters and authors have been inspired by Netley Abbey. It has been argued that Jane Austen was inspired by the Abbey to write her own spoof Gothic novel, Northanger Abbey, whilst on a picnic with her neice Fanny Knight and other members of the Austen clan.

There is a series of interpretion panels around the site providing information on the buildings and their uses.

Netley Abbey make an ideal spot for picnics and for games of hide and seek.


More information:

Discover more about Netley Abbey in the Hamble Valley Netley Abbey leaflet.
Available by contacting info@hamblevalley.comor calling 023 80001655

Opening times:

Netley Abbey is open daily for visitors between Easter and October and weekends out of season.

For more information contact English Heritage on 023 9237 8291