Haughmond Abbey

Haughmond Abbey

Haughmond Abbey at Haughmond Hill in Shropshire, otherwise known as the Abbey of Saint John the Evangelist, was founded in about 1100 AD. A statue of St John with his emblem can be found carved into the arches of the chapter house. His image also appeared on the Abbey's great seal.


The Abbey began as a small religious community towards the end of the 11th century. During the 1130s it attracted the patronage of William d'Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel and Norman Lord of Clun. In 1135 he founded an Augustinian priory, but having established itself as one of the Order's more influential houses, Haughmond was given Abbey status in 1155.

There are believed to have been some 24 canons residing at the Abbey by the end of the 12th century. From the architectural evidence surviving today, it appears that it was once a thriving and prosperous community. It was dissolved in 1539 as part of Henry VIII's nationwide Dissolution of the Monasteries. Records show that the then Abbot and 10 canons were present at the signing of the deed of surrender, each of them receiving generous pensions. The annual income was estimated at just under £250.

After dissolution, the new owner Sir Edward Littleton converted the Abbots Hall and adjoining rooms into a private residence. Later history also shows that some of the other buildings around the little cloister continued as private accommodation, with the Little Cloister becoming a formal garden, up until the English Civil War.

There was a fire during the Civil War and it left the hands of the wealthy being turned over for use as a farm, a small cottage still stood in the area of the former abbots kitchen when the ruins were placed in the guardianship of the Office of Works in 1933. Today English Heritage looks after the site.

The standing remains are of white sandstone rubble construction with ashlar dressings. They include: the foundations and west cloister doorway of the late 12th and early 14th century church; the late 12th century chapter house; the west wall of the warming house and dorter; the walls of the frater and its undercroft; and the early 13th century infirmary, flanked by the abbot's lodging to the east.

The abbey precinct is enclosed in part by a wall of undressed stone, which still stands around the south and west sides. The outer gatehouse and a possible inner gatehouse survive in earthwork form along with other buildings which may have been part of the Abbey. A reservoir and three possible fishponds can be identified, along with various other medieval features.

Apart from a few walls, little else has survived from the western side of the site and, at the northern edge, the abbey church has completely disappeared - although the cruciform ground plan is still clearly visible. A single Norman architecture arched doorway, leading from the nave of the church into the cloister shows fine foliage moulding, with the sculptured figures of St Peter and Saint Paul either side of the opening.

External links

* [http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/conProperty.339 English Heritage - Haughmond Abbey page]
* [http://www.gazchap.com/gallery/image.php?
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3098735 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Haughmond Abbey and surrounding area]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Haughmond Hill — Infobox Mountain Name = Haughmond Hill Photo = Caption = Elevation = 153 metres (502 feet) Location = Shropshire, England Range = Prominence = c. 85 m Coordinates = Topographic OS Landranger 126 First ascent = Easiest route = Grid ref UK =… …   Wikipedia

  • List of abbeys and priories in England — Contents 1 Overview 1.1 Article layout 2 Abbreviations and key …   Wikipedia

  • Shropshire — This article is about the English county. For other uses, see Shropshire (disambiguation). Shropshire Motto of County Council …   Wikipedia

  • Liste des monastères dissous par Henri VIII d'Angleterre — Ces monastères furent dissous par Henri VIII d Angleterre lors de la Dissolution des monastères entre 1538 et 1541. Cette liste n’est pas exhaustive car plus de 800 maisons religieuses existaient avant la Réforme anglaise. La moindre ville… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liste des propriétés de l'English Heritage — Cette page liste les propriétés de l’English Heritage, l’organisme public indépendant chargé de la gestion du patrimoine historique en Angleterre. Elle les classe selon les régions anglaises, puis selon les comtés cérémoniaux. Sommaire 1… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ranton, Staffordshire — Ranton is a small village in Staffordshire, situated 3.5 miles west of Stafford, 2.5 miles east of Woodseaves and 2 miles northeast of Gnosall.All Saints church, RantonAll Saints church, Ranton, is a small ancient structure, dating from the 13th… …   Wikipedia

  • St Andrew's Church, Wroxeter — St Andrew s Church, Wroxeter, from the southwest …   Wikipedia

  • Ratlinghope — is a village and civil parish in Shropshire, England. It is situated four miles west from Church Stretton and twelve miles south from Shrewsbury.Historically it is located in the hundred of Purslow. For Church of England purposes it is in the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII of England — These monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII of England in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The list is by no means exhaustive, since over 800 religious houses existed before the Reformation, and virtually every town of any size had at least …   Wikipedia

  • List of English Heritage properties — English Heritage Properties in England is a link page for any stately home, historic house, castle, abbey, museum or other property in the care of English Heritage.Bedfordshire*Bushmead Priory *De Grey Mausoleum *Houghton House *Wrest Park… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.