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Chertsey Abbey and Oatlands Palace sandstone head
Originally from Chertsey Abbey and dating to the 12th century, this sandstone head stands witness to some of the most pivotal and calamitous events in Tudor and Stuart England.

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, Chertsey Abbey was demolished.

Much of the Abbey, including the sandstone head, was reused to form the foundations of Oatlands Palace one of Henry’s great Tudor palaces in Surrey. It was built between 1537-1545 for Anne of Cleves and he later married Catherine Howard in the palace.

It became the residence at various times of Mary I, Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I.
Used as a Royalist base during the Civil War, Oatlands Palace itself was demolished in 1650 by Parliamentarian soldiers.

Photography: Brian Wood. © Elmbridge Museum

This is one of our History of Surrey in 50 Objects. It was chosen from around 150 items suggested by the Curators and Collections Officers of Surrey Museums to represent a moment, person or event which shaped or changed our county.

Visit the Explore Our Collections page on this site to see all 50 objects.