The abbey's foundation was an act of Waleran de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, who gave the monks of Garendon Abbey in Leicestershire some more land. The Count's twin brother was the benefactor of Garendon. However, Empress Matilda laid claim to the patronageof Bordesley once Waleran surrendered to her in about 1141, thus making Bordesley a royal house.Bordesley Abbey was once an important local ecclesiastical centre, holding political control of the ancient township of Tardebigge. However, the abbey's importance was lost once its control of the area was taken from it in the 1534 disestablishment. It was demolished by Henry VIII during the dissolution in 1538 and the property was sold.The ruins were extensively excavated by the University of Reading's Bordesley Abbey Project in the 1960s and 70s. Many of the excavated items can be seen in a visitor centre and museum at the site.