Vale Royal Abbey is a medieval abbey and later a country house. It was founded in 1270 by Edward I for monks of the austere Cistercian order.
Nothing remains of the great church, though archaeological work has revealed many details of its structure. A stone circular monument, known as the ‘Nun’s Grave’, traditionally commemorates a fourteenth century Cheshire nun, Ida, who tended a sick Vale Royal abbot, and on her death was buried at the site of the high altar. The monument was erected by the Cholmondeley family, possibly to lend credence to the legend of the nun. The material in its construction comes from three sources: the head made from a medieval cross with four panels depicting the Crucifixion, the Virgin and Child, St. Catherine, and St. Nicholas; the shaft, made in the seventeenth century and made of sandstone; and a plinth made from reclaimed abbey masonry. The present country house on the site incorporates substantial parts of the south and west ranges of the abbey plus Holcroft’s Tudor house.
The golf course at Vale Royal Abbey
The course was designed by renowned British Golf Course Architect Simon Gidman. The site itself is set in gently rolling, peaceful, Cheshire countryside in North West of England.
All greens are constructed to USGA specifications which, along with the naturally free draining site, enables the course to remain open and in a fully playable condition year round irrespective of the climatic conditions. All tees remain in use throughout the year with no use of mats enabling the full summer course to be played year round, it is also permitted to use the competition tees year round even for general play if you wish to play the course at its longest at all times.
Each hole is individually characteristic and provides a true test of golf requiring imaginative shot making with every club in the bag whilst remaining enjoyable to play for all standards of golfer. The course is 6,465 yards in length from the white tees, 6,197 from the yellow tees and 5,579 from the red tees.
The par 4, 7th hole is definitely one to look out for: a long par 4 that measures 467 yards in length. If you go left off the tee you will find the water, so keep to the right hand side of the fairway, from here you will have a mid to long iron left into the green. Any approach shots that land short will be gathered up by the strategically placed bunkers and anything long and left will be swallowed up by the Rookery Pool. The most difficult hole is certainly the 12th. The “Great Ditch” is a 439 yards Par 4.