Kingswood Abbey Gatehouse
Kingswood Abbey Gatehouse
A 16th-century gatehouse is all that remains of medieval Kingswood Abbey. The gatehouse is composed of a wide central arch with a gabled chamber above, and two-storey precinct walls to either side. The modern road runs through the gateway arch. The mullioned widow above the archway is beautifully sculptured in late Perpendicular style.

Kingswood Abbey Gatehouse is of particular interest as the gatehouse was one of the last monastic buildings to be built in England before the Dissolution of the Monasteries ended the traditional monastic way of life.

The abbey itself was established in 1169 by William de Berkeley as a Cistercian monastery, a daughter house of Tintern Abbey across the Severn in Wales. The abbey moved from Kingswood to Hazleton, but the monks returned to Kingswood in 1164 and refounded the abbey on a new site.

After the abbey was dissolved in 1538 some of the stone was used in the construction of nearby Newark Park. The Lady Chapel of the abbey church was used as the parish church until it became ruinous and had to be rebuilt in 1723. The abbey records are held at the University of Bristol.

The exterior is open access, but the interior can be viewed by obtaining a key from a nearby keyholder, weekdays only. The gatehouse is in the centre of Kingswood, with easy parking along the road.