|© Stephen Craven|
Launde Abbey was originally an Augustinian priory founded in the 12th century. Beautifully sited in this dip, it must have looked inviting with its church and group of stone buildings.
Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s minister who organized the survey of England’s monasteries that eventually led to the dissolution, certainly thought so. When the religious houses closed in the 1530s, of all the monasteries in England, Cromwell bagged Launde for himself. ‘Myself for Launde,’ he wrote in his journal.
The Cromwell family built themselves a house at Launde, incorporating the priory’s church into the new fabric. The house has been altered quite a bit since, and it’s not known how much of the Cromwell house actually remains, although it shares the site and the inviting prospect afforded by the monastery.Launde Abbey is in Leicestershire, 17 miles from Market Harborough.