Abbey Wood, Kent
Lesnes Abbey (also known as Westwood
Abbey) are the ruins of a former Abbey, in Abbey Wood, in the London Borough
of Bexley. It is surrounded by parkland and an ornamental garden. It was
originally founded by Richard de Luci, Chief Justiciar of England, in 1178.
In 1179, de Luci resigned his office and retired to the Abbey, where he died
three months later. He was buried in the chapter house.
|It sits amongst an ancient
woodland where the land rises above what would originally have been
marshland. The abbey kept fishponds which were fed by a small stream
running down through the woods, and these can be seen today although the
water level is often low. The woods above it have several features
dating back to the Bronze Age and also a fine display of wild bluebells
and daffodils in the Spring.
monks) was an important local landlord, and
took a leading part in draining the marshland. However, this and the cost of
maintaining river embankments was one of the reasons the Abbey had chronic
financial difficulties. It never became a large community, and was closed in
1525, under a licence to suppress monasteries of less than seven inmates. It was
one of the first monasteries to be closed after the Dissolution of the
Monasteries with it's monastic buildings pulled down, except for the Abbott's
The remains of the cloister and
surrounding buildings at Lenses Abbey.
Click on image to see
The abbey was effectively lost and the area
became farmland with the abbots house forming part of a farmhouse. The site
was purchased in 1930 by London Country council and was opened to the public
as a park in 1931. It has been restored to show some of the walls and the
entire outline of the abbey is visible giving a good idea of the size of the
original place. There is a cafe and a small exhibition of the abbey
and also toilet facilities for visitors.
Location: Lenses Abbey, Abbey Wood,
Grid Reference: TQ479787
Google Aerial Photo
Getting there: From M25 take A206 towards
Belvedere. At the junction of the A2016 and A220 continue on the A206
Woolwich Road until it joins the B213, take a right into Abbey Wood Road and
the wood is on your righthand side.
Access: Off the B213 Abbey Road
Other Useful Websites:
Opening Times: Public park open all the time
Other Location Pages:
Notes: Within Lenses Abbey Woods, which are
also good for seeing wild flowers such as Daffodils and Bluebells as well as
many others at their correct seasons.
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