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 patronage of 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 are now an archaeological site, undergoing investigation since 1969 by the University of Reading's Bordesley Abbey Project. Many of the excavated items can be seen in a visitor centre and museum at the site, which is joined with the Forge Mill Needle Museum.
The site is open to the public and accessible via public rights of way.
Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick, was buried in the Abbey.
- Walsh, D. (Redditch: Forge Mill Museum Trust Ltd., 1984) p. 1