Malling Abbey

Malling Abbey

Malling Abbey is an abbey of Anglican Benedictine nuns, at West Malling in the county of Kent, England.


The earliest mention of the nunnery occurs in Domesday book (1080). The church land of Malling having fallen to the share of Bishop Odo of Bayeux at the time of the Norman Conquest, Lanfranc, then Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeded in making him restore them to him in 1076. In the next year Gundulf was appointed Bishop of Rochester and he built the abbey at Malling. The date of the abbey's foundation by Gundulf is doubtful; it is given as early as 1078 and as late as 1106.

In recognition of its subjection to the See of Rochester the abbey paid the annual tithe of ten pounds of wax and one boar. In the year 1190 a fire broke out which destroyed both the abbey and village, but they were very soon rebuilt.

At the Dissolution of the Monasteries the abbess, Dame Vernon, signed the surrender in 1538 and left with her community of eleven nuns. The abbey with its land fell into the hands of Cranmer.


Since 1538 it was in the hands of private owners until 1893, when it was bought for an Anglican community founded by Father Ignatius of Llantony. In 1966, a modern church was constructed on the site.

The current abbess is Mother Abbess Mary John Marshall, OSB.


Little of the original building is now standing; the tower is Norman up to the first two stories and Early English above. Attached to the tower are some remnants of the church, one of the transepts and a wall of the nave; the refectory is also standing. The cloisters were re-erected in the fourteenth century.

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