After another extremely successful March meeting we can look forward to our next Zoom meeting on Tuesday 13 April at 7.30 pm. In April we will have Tony Bostock, a well known local historian, talking about Vale Royal.
Tony is the author of a number of books and many articles on various aspects of Cheshire history, contributing regularly to the annual journal, Cheshire History. Much of his work is published on his web-site: www.tonybostock.com. He is a regular speaker to local history and family history societies and other organisations throughout the county. As well as being a member of a number of academic societies in the region, he has been an active member and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Cheshire Local History Association since its formation in 1998. He also chaired the Northwich Heritage Society and has been the Chair of the Winsford Local History Society. Having retired from a professional life in public service, Tony applies himself to the research and study of local history, heraldry and genealogy.
Vale Royal Abbey is a former medieval abbey and later country house at Whitegate. The original building was founded c1265 by the Lord Edward, later King Edward I, for Cistercian monks. Edward intended the structure to be on a grand scale. Had it been completed it would have been the largest Cistercian monastery in Europe – but his ambitions were frustrated by recurring financial difficulties and the Welsh wars added to which what was eventually what was built fell down in a storm! When work resumed in the late fourteenth century, the building was considerably smaller than originally planned. Throughout its history the abbey was mismanaged and poor relations with the local population sparked riots. These included the murder of an abbot, rape and robbery. There was internal disorder too. The abbey was described in the early sixteenth century as a ‘damnable and sinister regime’, hence the title of the book. Vale Royal was closed in 1538 by Henry VIII during his Dissolution of the Monasteries. Overall a ‘failed enterprise’ – a failure in the monastic ideal and in never becoming the grandiose building intended.
I should like to thank all those who have contributed to our meeting costs. This has really made a difference. So thank you very much. If anyone would still like to contribute, payments can be made directly using our BACS sort code 09-01-29, account 26685458.
So do join us in April. If you would like to attend the April meeting please contact the Society on
As before I will initially send out an acknowledgement and then nearer the time send a Zoom link together with the meeting ID and password so that you can join the meeting.
I will also send out a reminder in advance of the meeting.
I look forward to seeing you in April.