Flaxley Abbey

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SMDB Image 011 Flaxley Abbey

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Flaxley Abbey was originally a Cistercian monastery built in the vale of Castiard to commemorate the spot where, in 1143 in the reign of King Stephen, Milo Fitzwalter, Earl of Hereford and Constable of St Briavels Castle, had fallen while hunting. He had been shot by an arrow, it was said, at the instance of a political enemy. In the following years various gifts of land to the religious order built up a large estate. The monks ran an ironworks and a forge. Henry VIII disolved the monastery in 1536. He demolished most of it, and gave the rest to Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London. Kingston built onto what was left of the monastery and called the building Flaxley Abbey. The property remained in his family until 1647 when the Boevey family bought it. The most famous member of this family was Catharina Boevey, a literary friend of Pope, Steel, Swift and Addison. Then the Crawley-Boevey family took over. The Crawley-Boeveys remained at the Abbey until Baden Watkins, a local industrialist, bought it in 1960. In 2000 the owner was Philip Watkins.

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