10 Best Medieval Monasteries

Posted: 2009-06-11

10 Best Medieval Monasteries

Here's another in my series of 'Best' historic British attractions. So far I've covered stately homes, castles, and stone circles. Now its the turn of medieval monasteries. These are my favourites out of the monasteries I've had the pleasure to visit (until now)!

Technically some of these medieval sites are abbeys or priories, but I doubt that such a distinction matters much to anyone outside academic circles.

10 Best Medieval Monasteries

And my usual disclaimer applies - there are dozens of wonderful monasteries to visit that are not on this list, and if you ask me again next week I'd likely list a diffferent 10! I'll add a special mention for Iona Abbey, which is an absolute delight to visit, but is not a surviving medieval monastery but a modern reconstruction of the historic abbey on this site. And for sheer remote beauty and atmosphere it is hard to beat Oronsay Priory, on the tidal island of Oronsay, off Colonsay.

Resources:
These organizations look after most of the historic monasteries in their respective countries.

English Heritage - most of the monasteries in England are under the care of EH.
Cadw- ditto for monasteries in Wales.
Historic Scotland - and Scotland

and you can browse our own monasteries gazetteer for a wide selection of monasteries to visit.




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