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Chertsey Abbey: Map

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Ruins of Chertsey Abbey
Chertsey Abbey, dedicated to St Peter, was a Benedictine monastery located at Chertseymarker in the Englishmarker county of Surreymarker.

It was founded by Saint Erkenwald, later Bishop of London, in 666 A.D and he became the first abbot. In the 9th century it was sacked by the Danes and refounded from Abingdon Abbeymarker by King Edgar of England in 964. Most of north-west Surrey was granted to the abbey by King Frithuwald of Surrey. In the eleventh century the monks engineered the Abbey Rivermarker as an offshoot of the River Thames to supply power to the abbey's watermill. In late medieval times, the Abbey became famous as the burial place of King Henry VI (whose body was later transferred to St George's Chapel, Windsormarker).The abbey was dissolved by the commissioners of King Henry VIII in 1537 but the community moved to Bisham. The site was given to Sir William Fitzwilliam and now only slight traces remain amongst later buildings. Some very fine medieval tiles from the abbey, some depicting the legend of Tristan and Iseult, may be seen in the British Museummarker.

Saint Beocca was also buried here around 870 A.D

One of the Abbey's bells, cast by a Wokinghammarker foundry circa 1380 and weighing just over half a ton is still in use as the 5th of the ring of eight at St Peter's church, Chertsey, and is one of the oldest bells in current use in Surrey.

Chertsey Abbey is mentioned in William Shakespeare's Richard III, Act I, Scene 2.


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