About this church
First built in the 13th century, Titchfield Abbey in Hampshire was the home of a community of Premonstratensian canons. The canons lived communally, like monks, but also preached and served as priests in the local community. After the Suppression of the Monasteries, Henry VIII gave the abbey to Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who transformed the buildings into a grand Tudor mansion called Place House. The most impressive feature of the abbey today is a grand turreted gatehouse, which was built across the nave of the church.
Royal guests at the house included Edward VI, Elizabeth I and Charles I with his queen, Henrietta Maria. Wriothesley’s grandson Henry, 3rd Earl of Southampton, was a patron of William Shakespeare and it is believed that some of Shakespeare’s plays were performed here for the first time.