House of Cistercian monks: The cell or grange of Faringdon

Pages 81-82

A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

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There is no Cistercian abbey among the religious houses of Berkshire; but the valuable manors of Faringdon, and certain adjacent property in the county, were granted to the house of St. Mary of Cîteaux by King John in 1203, on condition of a house being established there for Cistercian monks. But in the following year he founded in the New Forest the abbey known as Beaulieu for thirty monks of that reformed Benedictine order. By the Beaulieu foundation charter of 25 January, 1204-5, that abbey was endowed, inter alia, with the manors of Great and Little Faringdon, Great and Little Coxwell, Shilton and Inglesham, and the churches of Shilton and Inglesham, and the chapel of Coxwell, and all that the king had in Langford. Beaulieu being thus founded, the monks who were already at Faringdon were transferred to the important abbey of which Faringdon was henceforth a cell.

The chartularies of Beaulieu have many records of the manorial customs and the tenants, with the value of their Berkshire estates, but they contain nothing of interest with respect to the actual grange and chapel of the few monks who would from time to time reside at Faringdon to superintend the farming of the property they held in this county. (fn. 1)

At the time of the dissolution of Beaulieu Abbey, the Berkshire property was valued at £102 7s. 2d. a year.


  • 1. V.C.H. Hants, ii, 140.