An historic map of Hailes Abbey in the Cotswolds
was discovered in 2007. The abbey itself had been founded by the
earl of Cornwall in 1246 but it lasted barely two hundred years
before being closed down during Henry VIII's Reformation.
The map of the abbey was found to show many
previously unknown local features. The map was dated to about 1587,
during the reign of Elizabeth I, and was found in the National
Archives at Kew in London, seemingly stored for years without
having been properly catalogued.
It was drawn by Ralph Treswell, a renowned surveyor
and cartographer. He was amongst 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 pilgrim accommodation.
It also reveals that the abbey drew water not only
from the nearby lake as had previously been thought, but also from
a spring in the lower Cotswold hill-slope area which collected water
and directed it to the abbey through a lead pipe.
Experts who had seen the rare find stated that it
had revealed for the first time a clear picture of what the Hailes
Abbey site looked like shortly after the dissolution of the
The ruins of Hailes Abbey survive today, although the abbey's
active lifetime lasted only for about two hundred years from
the date of its founding in 1246