The abbey was founded in 1132 by the Benedictines, but was destroyed 30 years later, and then reconstructed. The abbey became one of the wealthiest in Britain due to the booming medieval wool trade. Its wealth was also to be its downfall, and it was one of the first abbeys to be crushed under the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540.
The Chapel of the nine altars, constructed between 1204 and 1250, is reputed to be the source of a disembodied male choir that has been heard several times. The abbey is associated with some folklore about the outlaw Robin Hood. In one legend Friar Tuck is said to have been a monk at the abbey, who joined their renegade band after challenging Robin to a sword fight. Robin Hoods bow was once also thought to have been kept at the abbey. The abbey also has a particularly fine carving of a green man.
Directions: The abbey is reached via a minor road from the B6265.