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Pictures of Hailes Abbey

a Abbey in the town of Winchcombe, in the county of Gloucestershire

About Hailes Abbey

Hailes Abbey occupies a lovely site and as you look at the remains of the dramatic cloister arches you get some idea of just how impressive the building must have been when it was constructed in 1246 and grew to prominence as a leading medieval pilgrimage destination.

Part of the reason for this was a story put about by the Cistercians who owned it. They claimed to have a phial containing the Blood of Christ, as authenticated by the Pope and presented to them by a local benefactor. They placed the phial in an elaborate shrine, the relic drew pilgrims to the abbey from all over the country, some even travelled here from Europe.

Chaucer's celebrated Pardoner's Tale mentions the abbey and the phial. Later, during the Dissolution, the fluid was found to be a fraud.

Today, the atmospheric site of these 13th century abbey ruins are open daily to the public, there is a small church and an interesting museum.

The abbey is in the care of English Heritage, and is managed by the National Trust.

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