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Sopwell Ruins

Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2BY 

From Nunnery to Soldier's Mansion
Commonly called Sopwell Nunnery, the ruins here should, more correctly be known as Lee Hall. Sopwell Nunnery was founded on this site in 1140 but the ruins that are visible today are not the remains of the Nunnery.  In 1540, after the Dissolution, King Henry VIII granted the land to Sir Richard Lee, a soldier, engineer and adviser to the King.  Sir Richard demolished the nunnery and built a house on the foundations.  The romantic ruins you see today are all that remain of Sir Richard's Tudor mansion. 

Admission is free.

Sopwell Nunnery is an ideal spot for a family picnic. 

The site features on two local Ver Vallery walks - walk 6 and walk 7.

Limited parking is available along Cottonmill Lane. Public car parks are also located within easy walking distance in the town centre.

The site is surrounded by level grass, but there is no path. There are no toilet facilities.