Information for record number MWA2905:
Stoneleigh Abbey

Summary The site of Stoneleigh Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that was founded during the Medieval period. Few traces of the Abbey buildings survive above the ground except for the gatehouse. The site is located southwest of The National Agricultural Centre.
What Is It?  
Type: Monastery, Cistercian Monastery, Building, Market, Fair, Boundary Ditch
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Stoneleigh
District: Warwick, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 31 71
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Description

 
Source Number  

1 The Abbey of Radmore was transferred to Stoneleigh in 1154-5. The foundation Stone of the church of the new Cistercian Abbey was laid in 1155. In 1241 the monastery buildings suffered severely from fire and in 1288 the Abbot's House and Gatehouse were burnt by intruders. In 1536 there were eleven others with the abbot.
2 Of Stoneleigh Abbey and its monastic buildings, very few traces apart from the Gatehouse (PRN 2904) are externally visible today.
4 An archaeological survey was carried out by Warwick Museum in a field known as the Cunnery. No trace of the monastic rabbit warren suggested by this name were found, but some evidence of medieval field systems and a possible kiln were found.
5 Tree-ring analysis of timbers from buildings and living trees undertaken at Stoneleigh Abbey. The buildings produced an intermittent chronology between AD 1194 and AD 1787 while the trees gave a single site chronology AD 1701-1998.
6 Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report Summary of the above tree-ring analysis report.
7 Market Charter for Thursday; mercartum granted 27th May 1284 by Edward I to Abbot and Convent of Stoneleigh. Fair Charter vigil feast +5 Nativity of John the Baptist (24th June) granted 27th May 1284 by Edward I to Abbot and Convent of Stoneleigh
10 Letter from 1977.
11 Map.
12 Press cuttings from 1983.
13 Study from 1971 following the proposal that WM should take over the West Wing for the Museum.
14 Brief notes.
15 Letter from 1983.
16 A number of fragments of medieval floor tile and moulded Stone were recovered from a service trench within the area of Stoneleigh Abbey Cloister, during groundworks for the placement of an oil pipe. This service trench was roughly in the line of former trenching, carried out during 1997-1999.
17 No full report is available on the sequence of watching briefs undertaken at Stoneleigh Abbey between 1998-2001; summaries are available in sources
18-
22.
18 Summary of a series of watching briefs carried out at Stoneleigh Abbey, in 1998. Possible medieval walls were located in trenches south of the conservatory, and north and east of the Gatehouse. A drain trench across the Cricket Pitch east of the House found the foundations of buildings of the Outer Court. These buildings were probably medieval but others, located in other trenches to the south, in an area where 16th and 18th century plans show mills and other outbuildings, could have been medieval or later.
19 Summary of a series of watching briefs carried out at Stoneleigh Abbey, in 1999. trenching by the east wall of the East Wing revealed part of the wall dividing the two side chapels east of the south transept of the Abbey church and part of the north wall of the Chapter House. A further wall, running north-south, was revealed c.13m east of the East Wing which may be the original east wall of the Chapter House. Excavations beneath the floor in the Chapter House revealed the base of the north jamb of the doorway into the Cloister with surviving white and red paint. The level of the original medieval floor was visible 0.45m below the modern level. A drain trench in the Cloister revealed an area of in situ tiled floor towards the south end of the east alley. This contained a mix of monochrome and slipdecorated, patterned tiles, many severely worn. A further collection of 136 loose tiles came to light in August 1999; this includes 37 designs, including five not previously recorded in Warwickshire. Excavation of a trench for oil tanks, to the east of the Abbey Gatehouse, revealed a series of substantial medieval walls, which appear to belong to a 13th-century building whose west wall survives as the east wall of the Gatehouse. Another wall ran southwards for at least 3.7m; this belonged to a further building to the east, another part of which was probably recorded to the south-east in 1998. The medieval walls were overlaid by later wall foundations of brick and Stone, which probably correspond to a building shown on a mid-18th century drawing. Northwest of the Gatehouse, two undated sandstone walls were uncovered, oriented WSW-ENE. These probably belonged to a building in the outer court, possibly a stable, shown on 18th century plans. Topsoil stripping for a new area of car parking, to the south-east of the main gateway, revealed the remains of the early 19th century ‘covered way’ that ran between the stables and the East Wing. The remains consisted of a series of six Stone plinths running parallel to the garden wall. This ‘covered way’ was designed by Smith in 1818, utilising the existing garden wall to the east. The walkway was 1.95m wide and was originally faced with a series of Tudorstyle arches in a similar design to that of the stable block.
20 Summary of a series of watching briefs carried out at Stoneleigh Abbey, in 2000. Features of the post-medieval gardens were recorded.
21 Summary of a series of watching briefs carried out at Stoneleigh Abbey, in 2001. Two burials were recorded, in what may have been the nave of the Abbey church. A service trench running west-east south of the south wing cut through two undated Stone drains, and a Stone wall. The foundations of two greenhouses were recorded in the Abbey gardens.
22 Summary of the 1998-2001 watching briefs included as an Appendix to Richard Morriss' review article of the development of the Abbey.
 
Sources

Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Victoria County History, vol 2, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Page W (ed)
Date: 1908
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 2
   
Source No: 10
Source Type: Correspondence
Title: Stoneleigh Abbey
Author/originator: Lamb, Dr R.G.
Date: 1977
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 11
Source Type: Map
Title: Stoneleigh
Author/originator:
Date: 1925
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 12
Source Type: Newspaper/Magazine Article
Title: Stoneleigh
Author/originator: Leamington Spa Courrier
Date: 1983
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 13
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Stoneleigh Abbey - West Wing
Author/originator: Morris, Jocelyn M.
Date: 1971
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 14
Source Type: Note
Title: Stoneleigh Abbey
Author/originator:
Date:
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 15
Source Type: Correspondence
Title: Stoneleigh Abbey
Author/originator: Leigh, The Lord
Date: 1983
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 16
Source Type: Watching Brief
Title: Stoneleigh Abbey Cloister, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire: Archaeological Watching Brief
Author/originator: Coutts C
Date: 2013
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 17
Source Type: Verbal communication
Title: Pers. Comm. Giles Carey
Author/originator: G Carey
Date: 2009 onwards
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 19
Source Type: Serial
Title: West Midlands Archaeology Vol 42
Author/originator:
Date: 1999
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 42
   
Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Victoria County History, vol 6, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Salzman L F (ed)
Date: 1951
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: VI
   
Source No: 20
Source Type: Serial
Title: West Midlands Archaeology vol 43
Author/originator:
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 43
   
Source No: 21
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Warwickshire Archaeology in 2001 - Summary Reports
Author/originator: Warwickshire Museum Field Archaeology Projects Group
Date: 2002
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 22
Source Type: Article in monograph
Title: From Monastery to Country House In: R. Bearman (ed.) Stoneleigh Abbey: The House, Its Owners, Its La
Author/originator: Morris R.K.
Date: 2004
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 3
Source Type: Serial
Title: TBAS vol 79
Author/originator: Parks G H
Date: 1960
Page Number: 76-84
Volume/Sheet: 79
   
Source No: 4
Source Type: Evaluation Report
Title: Stoneleigh Abbey - The Cunnery Site Archaeological Evaluation
Author/originator: Jones C
Date: 1993
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 5
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Tree-ring Analysis of Timbers at Stoneleigh Abbey
Author/originator: R E Howard, R R Laxton, C D Litton
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet:
   
Source No: 6
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report Summaries 2000
Author/originator: English Heritage
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 28 & 29
   
Source No: 7
Source Type: Internet Data
Title: Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516 (Warwickshire)
Author/originator: Institute of Historical Research (CMH)
Date: 2005
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Warwickshire
   
Images:  
There are no images associated with this record.  
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Glossary

 
Word or Phrase
Description  
monument ABBEY * A religious house governed by an abbot or abbess. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument ALLEY * A passageway or lane between buildings. back
monument ARCH * A structure over an opening usually formed of wedge-shaped blocks of brick or stone held together by mutual pressure and supported at the sides; they can also be formed from moulded concrete/ cast metal. A component; use for free-standing structure only. back
monument BOUNDARY DITCH * A ditch that indicates the limit of an area or a piece of land. back
monument BUILDING * A structure with a roof to provide shelter from the weather for occupants or contents. Use specific type where known. back
monument BURIAL * An interment of human or animal remains. Use specific type where known. If component use with wider site type. Use FUNERARY SITE for optimum retrieval in searches. back
monument CHAPEL * A freestanding building, or a room or recess serving as a place of Christian worship in a church or other building. Use more specific type where known. back
monument CHAPTER HOUSE * The building attached to a cathedral or collegiate church where the dean, prebendaries or monks and canons met for the transaction of business. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument CISTERCIAN MONASTERY * An abbey or priory of Cistercian monks. back
monument CLOISTER * A covered walk, walled on one side and usually arcaded on the other, surrounding or partly surrounding an open area in a monastery or similar complex of Christian buildings. back
monument CONSERVATORY * A glasshouse used to grow and display tender decorative plants. May be either an extension to a house or freestanding. back
monument COUNTRY HOUSE * The rural residence of a country gentleman. back
monument COVERED WAY * A path that is roofed over. back
monument CRICKET PITCH * An area of grass, marked out for use in the game of cricket. back
monument DRAIN * An artificial channel for draining water or carrying it off. back
technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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monument FAIR * A site where a periodical gathering of buyers, sellers and entertainers, meet at a time ordained by charter or statute or by ancient custom. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument FIELD SYSTEM * A group or complex of fields which appear to form a coherent whole. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FLOOR * A layer of stone, brick or boards, etc, on which people tread. Use broader site type where known. back
monument GARDEN * An enclosed piece of ground devoted to the cultivation of flowers, fruit or vegetables and/or recreational purposes. Use more specific type where known. back
monument GARDEN WALL * A stone or brick wall either in, or enclosing, a garden. back
monument GATEHOUSE * A gateway with one or more chambers over the entrance arch; the flanking towers housing stairs and additional rooms. Use with wider site type where known. back
monument GATEWAY * A substantial structure supporting or surrounding a gate. May be ornate or monumental, and have associated structures such as lodges, tollbooths, guard houses etc. back
monument HOUSE * A building for human habitation, especially a dwelling place. Use more specific type where known. back
monument KILN * A furnace or oven for burning, baking or drying. Use specific type where known. back
monument LABORATORY * A group of buildings or rooms equipped with apparatus for scientific experiments or other research, testing and investigations. back
monument MARKET * An open space or covered building in which cattle, goods, etc, are displayed for sale. back
period Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 – 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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monument MILL * A factory used for processing raw materials. Use more specific mill type where known. See also TEXTILE MILL, for more narrow terms. back
period modern About 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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period Modern The Modern Period, about 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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back
monument MONASTERY * Houses specifically of monks, canons or religious men but not friars. back
monument MUSEUM * A building, group of buildings or space within a building, where objects of value such as works of art, antiquities, scientific specimens, or other artefacts are housed and displayed. back
monument OUTBUILDING * A detached subordinate building. Use specific type where known, eg. DAIRY. back
monument RABBIT WARREN * An area used for the breeding and rearing of rabbits. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument STABLE * A building in which horses are accommodated. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument TANK * Armoured military vehicle with its own firepower, which operates on tracks for troop mobility over rough terrain. Some may be adapted, or purpose-built, to be amphibious, and may then be double-indexed as AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLE. back
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
monument TRENCH * An excavation used as a means of concealment, protection or both. back
monument WALL * An enclosing structure composed of bricks, stones or similar materials, laid in courses. Use specific type where known. back
source WM Warwickshire Museum Aerial Photograph Collection. A collection of oblique and vertical aerial photographs and taken by various organisations and individuals, including the Royal Airforce, The Potato Board, Warwickshire Museum. The collection is held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record