Netley Abbey is a ruined late medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for Roman Catholic monks of the austere Cistercian order. The monks were best known to their neighbours for the generous hospitality they offered to travellers on land and sea.
In 1536, Netley Abbey was closed by Henry VIII of England during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the building was converted into a mansion by William Paulet, a wealthy Tudor politician.
Netley Abbey is cared for by English Heritage. The extensive remains consist of the church, cloister buildings, abbot's house, and fragments of the post-Dissolution mansion. Netley Abbey is one of the best preserved medieval Cistercian monasteries in southern England.
Netley Abbey has its legends, ghosts and of course a curse which is said to date from the time of the dissolution of the monsteries. One of the Abbey Monks, 'Blind Peter' became the guardian of the Abbey's treasure against Henry VIII. In an attempt to find the treasure, a gentleman named Mr Slown arrived at the Abbey and began to dig a hole. Moments later he ran away screaming and collapsed within minutes from a heart attack uttering his dying words 'For God's sake, block it up.'
Another victim of the curse was local builder Walter Taylor. In 1700, when Taylor was intent of removing stones from the site to to use in a town house, he had a terrible nightmare. In the dream, he was visited by a monk who warned him of great mischief if he was to continue with this plans. However, contrary to his advice, Taylor took part in the demolition and in the course of tearing down a board, he loosened a stone that fell and fractured his head.
The abbey is alleged to be home to two ghosts. The first is that of a monk who is seen as a white figure; the second is said to be a former abbot who appears as a dark figure.
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