Ref Number: 0054
Ref Number: 0054
Baldwin de Redvers, the first Earl of Devon and the fourth Lord of the Isle of Wight, established the Cistercian Order in 1132. The Cistercian Order included the mediaeval Quarr Abbey as a component of its organisation. When the founder passed away in 1155, he was laid to rest at the Abbey. His bones, as well as those of Royal princess Cecily of York (who passed away in 1507), the second daughter of King Edward IV of England and the godmother of Henry VII, lay on the site of the abbey, together with the remains of a great number of other influential people.
In the year 1340, a unique authorization was given for the construction of fortifications with the purpose of protecting the region from the growing risk of piracy. Stone walls, a sea gate, and a portcullis were constructed as defensive structures, and the remnants of these structures may still be seen today.
George Mills, a trader from Southampton, purchased the property in 1536 when it was made available for sale as a result of Henry VIII’s decree to dissolve the monasteries.
The Exile of Solesmes and the Modern-Day Abbey of Quarr
Throughout the entirety of the nineteenth century, French law made it illegal for religious orders to exist unless expressly permitted to do so by a separate statute. The application changed throughout time in response to shifts in government policy, which led to a crisis in 1880 when congregations were granted only three months in which to submit their requests for authorization. In the beginning, men’s communities were subject to the law’s stringent application; but, as a result of large objections, the rule was eventually softened, and congregations were re-established. Because of a new rule that went into effect on July 1, 1901, the newly discovered tolerance for religious groups came to an end on that day.
A Brand New Abbey Constructed
The monks from Appuldurcombe arrived at Quarr Abbey on June 25, 1907, and immediately got to work preparing the grounds and making other preparations. Along with erecting fence around the property, they laid the groundwork for the beginnings of a poultry farm, an orchard, and a kitchen garden.
The community of Solesmes moved back to France in 1922, following the conclusion of World War I and the numerous changes that the war brought with it. However, a small community of monks remained in Quarr. After beginning its history as a priory, the building that is now known as Quarr Abbey transitioned to its current status in 1937. The community expanded its ranks throughout time with the addition of English monks. Fr. Peter de Curzon, the last French monk to come in the monastery in 1945, passed away in 2006.