From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Hulton Abbey

53° 2' 21.9" N 2° 8' 33.0" W

  • History
  • Gallery
Hulton Abbey is located in Abbey Hulton near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Not much remains of the buildings, just a few low walls which outline parts of the church.

The abbey at Hulton was established in 1218 by Henry de Audley. He invited monks from Combermere to form a Cistercian abbey near Heleigh Castle on land he had purchased and some he had inherited from his mother. As he was not particularly rich the Cistercian order built a modest church. This was not a prosperous house. By the the time of dissolution in 1538 it housed eight monks, an abbot and a prior.

The abbey was built in a common Cistercian arrangement. As with most abbeys, additions and remodeling were carried out up to dissolution, the scale and grandeur of these works were based on income at that time.

Excavations of the church and monastic buildings on the site have revealed that the aisled nave was just four bays long and that the cloister was south of the nave. The east range housed a library and sacristy immediately adjacent to the church, followed by a rectangular Chapter House of three by three bays which projected eastwards from the range. The refectory in the south range appears to have been set on a north-south axis, the kitchen was to its west and the warming room and day stair were to its east.

Also during these excavations, several grave slabs with foliate headed crosses were found. One of these may have belonged to the master mason of the abbey. Other finds include fragments of glass dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. A large number of floor tiles were also found.

With the dissolution the abbey site was sold to Sir Edward Aston of Tixall, who built a large house out of the abbey close by. By the 18th century the location of the abbey was lost. It was only rediscovered in 1884 when the land owner, Reverend Walter Sneyd, was installing land drains at Carmountside farm. He ordered the first in a succession of archaeological excavations be carried out.