Hailes Abbey



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Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry III, founded Hailes Abbey in 1246 in thanks for surviving a shipwreck. It housed the Holy Blood of Hailes, claimed to be a phial of Christ’s blood, and became a pilgrimage site. After the Dissolution in 1539, when many religious institutions in England were closed or destroyed, the abbey declined precipitously. King Henry VIII’s commissioners even claimed that the Holy Blood of Hailes was actually just duck’s blood, and it’s difficult to venerate the holy martyrdom of a duck. Now only a few of the cloister arches and foundations remain, though one Cistercian drain still works, 750 years after its installation.

Hailes Abbey
HAILES, Winchcombe, GL54 5PB
Phone : 01242 602398


  • Parking onsite
Opening Times
  • Opening Times: Open daily, Apr-Jun & Sep-Oct 10-5; Jul-Aug 10-6. Closed Nov-Mar. Info valid until Mar 2017

About The area

Discover Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire is home to a variety of landscapes. The Cotswolds, a region of gentle hills, valleys and gem-like villages, roll through the county. To their west is the Severn Plain, watered by Britain’s longest river, and characterised by orchards and farms marked out by hedgerows that blaze with mayflower in the spring, and beyond the Severn are the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley.

Throughout the county you are never far away from the past. Neolithic burial chambers are widespread, and so too are the remains of Roman villas, many of which retain the fine mosaic work produced by Cirencester workshops. There are several examples of Saxon building, while in the Stroud valleys abandoned mills and canals are the mark left by the Industrial Revolution. Gloucestershire has always been known for its abbeys, but most of them have disappeared or lie in ruins. However, few counties can equal the churches that remain here. These are many and diverse, from the ‘wool’ churches in Chipping Campden and Northleach, to the cathedral at Gloucester, the abbey church at Tewkesbury or remote St Mary’s, standing alone near Dymock.


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