The Cistercians in England and Wales.

The first in a series of postings on the Cistercians in England and Wales.
   They were founded in France by a Benedictine Abbot, Robert of Molesme, in 1098. He felt that the Benedictine movement as it was then had abandoned the rigorous lifestyle imposed by Benedict and become too slack. He set up a new foundation at Citeaux, near Dijon. In 1108 an Englishman, Stephen Harding, became abbot and the movement never looked back, spreading across France. In 1128, with the support of William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, the first English Cistercian abbey was founded at Waverley, near Farnham in Surrey: what’s left of it can be seen below. As with later Cistercian Abbeys, the location was in remote countryside, not in towns.
  Although Waverley was never wealthy, and was flooded now and again by the nearby rivers, five daughter houses were founded. The movement became very successful: 89 abbeys and priories were founded in Britain over the next 150 years. Postings on some of them to come.

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