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Stanley Abbey and its Estates 1151-c1640

A Cistercian monastery and its impact on the landscape

Graham Brown
Publication Year:
149pp. Illustrated in black and white and in colour
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


The book assesses the impact of a Cistercian monastery on the landscape and how, in its turn, the landscape influenced the monastery. It also tests some of the traditional views on the early ideals of the Cistercians such as their attitude to colonisation, land clearance, administration of their territory and dealings with secular society. This study also goes beyond the monastic period and examines what effect the suppression of the monastery had on the landscape and community. This volume approaches the subject from a different perspective and examines not only the abbey but its territory using archaeology, architecture, documents and map evidence in a holistic, 'landscape' manner. Using the earthwork survey plan of the abbey, features within the precinct are identified.

'The reproduction of the publication is exceptional. The colour illustrations are clear, as are the line drawings & maps, whilst the structure aids reading… This research has a number of key themes. By far the most impressive was the way the landscape evidence has been employed to complement the scant documentary evidence for Stanley Abbey. The author has expertly demonstrated that through the application of a focussed methodology, underpinned by quality fieldwork, even the most complicated of sites can be interpreted. Graham Brown's account of Stanley Abbey is required reading for those who are scholars of the period, it will also be of interest to those who wish to learn something of craft of landscape archaeology.' The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Volume 107, 2014.