The romantic remains of this Cistercian monastery are settled in a beautifully landscaped valley in South Yorkshire. Roche Abbey’s dilapidation does little to stifle the impressive, soaring early Gothic transepts that still survive to their original height. As well as the transept walls, parts of the gatehouse also remain, as well as other low standing walls and a bridge that was used to access the abbot’s quarters and a kitchen area.

The abbey was founded in 1147 and took 25 years to fully construct. Originally made for the so-called White Monks, as Cistercians were know, the abbey had (and still has) an ethereal air about it. Built on an area once covered by Sherwood Forest, it is claimed that Robin Hood went to Mass here.

The Abbey saw most of its destruction during the Reformation under King Henry VIII’s reign. The remains were revealed after the local community claimed their rights on Roche Abbey and its possessions. Accounts exist which detail the destruction of the abbey and its ecclesiastical artefacts in 1538. Since then the abbey has stood desolate but nonetheless impressive, its architecture baring significant importance as examples of early Gothic construction.


Maltby, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S66 8NW
Tel: 01709 812739
Times: April-September, Thursday-Sunday, 11:00am-4:00pm