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The ruins of Rushen Abbey



Daniel Esparza - published on 10/13/22

The Abbey was originally founded in 1134 by Savignac monks, and seized under Henry VIII four centuries later.

The ruins of Rushen Abbey became a popular destination in the early 20th century, mostly because of its peaceful flowery gardens – and because of the strawberries and cream that are still served there today. Located in the Ballasalla area of the Isle of Man, it was originally founded in 1134 by Savignac monks. Shortly after, in 1147, the abbey came under Cistercian rule, following the merging of the Savignac and Cistercian orders, until the monastery was seized and the Cistercians expelled from the island under Henry VIII.

In 1853, the Isle of Man government bought the Rushen Abbey site to turn the former monastery into a mental institution. The plans never came to fruition, and the ruins were practically abandoned after World War II, until the abbey was acquired by Manx National Heritage in May 1998.

Ever since then, different teams of archaeologists have discovered important details regarding the monks’ way of life and practices.The remains of the original abbey have been restored and new walkways allow visitors to get a closer look.

The Rushen Abbey site includes a museum, an education center, an onsite café, picnic areas, the preserved abbey ruins, and beautiful gardens.

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