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Bremhill Parish

Bremhill, Foxham, The Tythertons & surrounding villages

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Stanley Abbey

Two miles south west of Bremhill is Stanley Abbey, a Cistercian nunnery, founded 1154. It was the site of the earliest known fulling mill in 1189. There is also the preserved Hazeland Mill in the parish, situated between Bremhill and Stanley. The present mill dates from the early 18th century. The original was part of the estates of Malmesbury Abbey, recorded as a grist and tucking mill in 1534. The freehold was held by the Bayntun family of Spye Park from the 17th century and it was recorded as a cloth mill until c.1835 and as a grist mill until 1965.

Stanley has a 17th century (possibly medieval) farmhouse, made of rubble stone with a Bridgewater tile roof. It adjoins the site of the former Stanley Abbey. The abbey was given by Empress Matilda in 1151 to monks from Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight. Originally at Loxwell, to the east of Chippenham, it moved to nearby Stanley in 1154. Its operation finally ceased as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries. The last abbot was Thomas Calne (also called Morley), and the abbey was dissolved in February 1536. Nothing now remains in situ except a green site on private property, but access may be obtained to visit it from Old Abbey Farm.

At the dissolution the land passed into the possession of Sir Edward Baynton, who plundered the materials to build his manor house at Bromham.

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