Roche Abbey: history
A reconstruction of the 12th century church
a cloister at Roche
<click to enlarge>
The history of Roche Abbey, Yorkshire,
expands from the foundation of the house in 1147 until its dissolution
in 1538. Roche is today one of the less well-known Cistercian abbeys
and there are no exceptional personalities associated with the community
yet, as the following screens show, the abbey played an integral
role in matters relating to the Order as well as the locality, and
both participated in and was affected by national affairs.
Roche was a joint foundation by Richard de Busli,
lord of Maltby, and Richard FitzTurgis, lord of Hooten, and was
in this respect rather unusual. Otherwise, the abbey’s development
was in many ways similar to that of other Cistercian abbeys in the
county - a period of growth and consolidation with its highs and
lows was followed by a gradual decline.
Little remains of the buildings at Roche and
there are few surviving documentary sources. Aerial photography
of the site, however, reveals an almost complete outline of the
precinct, and a remarkable account of the spoliation of the abbey
in the sixteenth century provides a vivid insight to the fate of
the abbey after the Dissolution.