History Files


Early Modern Britain

Map of Historic Abbey Discovered

Edited from BBC News, 12 June 2007



A historic map of Hailes Abbey in the Cotswolds has been discovered showing many previously unknown features.

The Elizabethan map, dating back to about 1587, was found at the National Archives at Kew in London.

It was drawn by Ralph Treswell, a renowned surveyor and cartographer, who was among the first in England to produce scaled plans of estates.

The document shows evidence of a twelfth century church, a water mill and visitor or pilgrims' accommodation.

It also reveals the abbey drew water, not just from the nearby lake as previously thought, but from a spring in the lower Cotswold hill-slope which collected water and directed it to the abbey through a lead pipe.

Experts said the rare find revealed for the first time a clear picture of what the site looked like shortly after the dissolution of the monasteries.



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