Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crowland Abbey

Another photograph from my recent travels. The Crowland Abbey (originally Croyland Abbey) website explains its unfortunate early history:

Croyland Abbey was a monastery of the Benedictine Order in Lincolnshire, sixteen miles from Stamford and thirteen from Peterborough. It was founded in memory of St. Guthlac, early in the eighth century, by Ethelbald, King of Mercia, but was entirely destroyed and the community slaughtered by the Danes in 866.

Refounded in the reign of King Edred, it was again destroyed by fire in 1091, but rebuilt about twenty years later by Abbot Joffrid. In 1170 the greater part of the abbey and church was once more burnt down and once more rebuilt, under Abbot Edward.

Things went much better after that - until the Dissolution came along.

1 comment:

Simon Titley said...

The ruins of Crowland Abbey are symbolic of Lincolnshire's economic fate.

The Pilgrimage of Grace (, currently being dramatised in BBC2's The Tudors, actually began with the Lincolnshire Rising.

Until Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, Lincolnshire was one of the wealthiest parts of England, having been the centre of the lucrative wool trade in medieval times. Indeed, about half of England's monastic wealth was based in Lincolnshire.

A happy consequence is that Simon Jenkins, in his book England's Thousand Best Churches, states that Lincolnshire possesses the finest collection of medieval churches in the country.

A sadder consequence is that Lincolnshire's economy has never fully recovered from the depredations of Henry VIII. Today the county suffers from some of lowest rates of pay in the country, even though it possesses the country's richest agricultural land.