Croxden in Staffordshire was a Cistercian foundation. The Cistercians or “white monks” wanted to live a more austere life than their Benedictine or Cluniac brothers. This was symbolised by the undid wool habits that gave them their name.
Croxden Abbey was founded by Bertram de Verdun in 1176, Monks from Aunay in Normandy were sent to live in the new foundation. Initially the abbey began its life at Cotton but by 1179, the monks had moved to Croxden. The first abbey was built by 1254 but the precincts were expanded during the 13th and 14th centuries. The ground plan of the monastery at Croxden is modelled on Aunay.
When Croxden Abbey was dissolved in 1538 the property was leased to Francis Bassett, a member of the local gentry and rather conveniently a servant of Archbishop Crammer.
A road which dates from the 18th century runs diagonally across the site of the nave and the south transept.