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Crowland Abbey, Crowland

Description: Crowland Abbey

Grade: I
Date Listed: 7 February 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 197967

OS Grid Reference: TF2415510326
OS Grid Coordinates: 524155, 310326
Latitude/Longitude: 52.6764, -0.1651

Location: Church Lane, Crowland, Lincolnshire PE6 0EW

Locality: Crowland
Local Authority: South Holland District Council
County: Lincolnshire
Country: England
Postcode: PE6 0EW

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument with a similar name, Ruins and Site of Crowland Abbey, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This is probably the same structure or related to it in some way.

Explore more of the area around Crowland, Lincolnshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

TF 2410-2510 (east side)

18/4 Crowland Abbey
G.V. I

Abbey church, now parish church with abbey church ruins. c.1165,
c.1260, C14, C15, restored 1743, 1860, 1887-91, C20. Limestone
ashlar and rubble, some Purbeck marble dressings. Lead roof
hidden behind parapets. Of the original cruciform plan with
crossing tower and north west tower, all that remains is: the
fragmentary remains of the west end of the south aisle, the
ruined nave with intact north aisle with west porch with parvise;
north-west tower with spire, and north-west vestry. Fragmentary
west front of south aisle of c.1165. Plinth and 4 tiers of
fragmentary blind arcades flanked by shafts; the shaft to the
left was originally one of two which flanked a C12 buttress now
embedded in a large C15 buttress. It has small scalloped and
foliate capitals and shaft rings. Blind arcade of 5 small
chevroned, semi-circular arches with weathered, scalloped
capitals. Billeted string course above with another blind arcade
above that, with 5 pointed, roll moulded heads with weathered
carved capitals. Fragmentary blind arcade above with 3
intersecting, semi-circular headed arches, scalloped capitals and
with supporting shafts intact. Very fragmentary blind arcade
above that with single roll moulded, semi-circular headed arch
with weathered capital. Left hand nook shaft continues above,
above. West front of main vessel of nave of c.1260 flanked by
large mid C15 multi-stage buttresses with 3 tiers of blind
panelled tracery and crowned with tall, rectangular pinnacles
with small, ornate flyers. North wall of south buttress with
blocked doorway with pointed, moulded head and broad chamfered
jambs; this originally led to cell attached to south on site of
St. Guthlac's original foundation. Blocked, pointed window above
with single mullion. Fragmentary wavery cusped frieze above
that, with a similar frieze on the north buttress. C12 nook
shafts with shaft rings embedded in north-east corner of south
buttress, and south-east corner of north buttress. C13 west
front proper with moulded plinth and large central pointed
doorway with richly moulded head with fillets, hood mould and
head label stops. C19 slender quatrefoiled and filleted trumeau
supports 2 smaller pointed arches with fragmentary cusping and
hood moulds with stiff leaf decoration and head label stops.
Quatrefoil in tympanum contains sculpted scenes from the life of
St. Guthlac. Jambs with fragmentary and missing Purbeck marble
shafts and crocket capitals. Small empty niche to right with
small fragmentary figure to the left of it. To the left of the
doorway is a small fragmentary figure. Spandrels of doorway with
single canopies on each side, with foliate capitals and ornate
gablets. Fragmentary trefoil immediately to the right of the
left canopy. Beyond each of these canopies is a single tall
blind arch, each with richly moulded trefoil head with moulded,
ribbed and crocketed capitals and only the right hand shaft of
right arch extant and with shaft rings. Trefoil heads each
flanked by small quatrefoils. Under left arch is the fragmentary
figure of Synagogua standing on a pedestal decorated with
stylised tree and a figure. Right arch contains pedestal carved
with an angel. String course above with small sculptural motifs
and large billet. Large pointed west window above with richly
moulded surround, slender jambs (some no longer intact) with
crocket and stiff leaf capitals. Fragmentary tracery in head;
fragmentary hood mould and head label stops. Window flanked by
tall blind arched panels supported on crocket and stiff leaf
capitals and with hood moulds and single head label stops. Each
contains 2 tiers of paired niches with standing figures of saints
on tall polygonal billeted pedestals, under semi-circular
canopies with crocketed gablets and grotesque head and foliate
label stops. 2 tiers of niches in spandrels and above the west
window. Spandrel niches contain 2 saints on each side under
ornate traceried canopies. Originally 10 ornate niches above the
window, the lengths staggered according to the line of the
spandrels; 2 of the niches to the right are destroyed and are
thus minus their figures. Fragmentary moulded eaves above with
grotesque head and foliate motifs. North west tower to north
flanked by large C15 blind traceried buttresses, that to right
with ornate niche, and which are joined by a wall from which
projects a 2 storey mid C15 rectangular porch which is said to
encase a portion of the C12 west front of the north aisle, of a
similar design to that of the south aisle. West doorway with
shallow pointed head, continuous moulded surround and elongated
hood mould. Above on west, north and south sides are single
windows with shallow pointed heads and 3 cusped lights. Porch
flanked by single storey diagonal buttresses with ornate flyers;
and is crowned by moulded eaves with foliate motifs, parapet and
cross finial. Illegible C18 monument on south side. Porch
interior with flanking stone benches. Slender responds support
the fragmentary blind traceried springers of fan vault no longer
extant, and wall ribs. North and south doorways with flattened
pointed heads, the former with a plank door, the latter with an
iron gateway. Richly moulded C15 west doorway with shallow
pointed head, hood mould, slender outer jambs, C18 block capitals
and double panel doors. Soffit with blind panel tracery. Tower
rises above and behind porch with large pointed west window with
6 ogee headed cusped lights, panel tracery and hood mould. Large
pointed south window blocked and with 3 light mullion window
inserted. North side with rectangular C18 battlemented vestry
with doorway to right with 4 centred head and plank door and 2
three light mullion windows to left. Above, set back, the tower
has a section of blind panelling to the right of a large pointed
window restored in C19, with 5 cusped, ogee headed lights,
transom, panel tracery and hood mould. A similar window to the
east. Above, on all 4 sides is a band of blind arcading with
rectangular bell stage above containing 2 sets of 3 arches,
central arch of each being blind. Clock set on west side.
Moulded eaves and parapet above. Squat octagonal ashlar spire
with 4 lucarnes, each with a triangular head and 2 triangular
headed lights with transom. 4 small rectangular openings at apex
and finial with weathervane. North side with line of 3
projecting late C14 north chapels, somewhat remodelled in mid
C15, restored 1743 and 1860, with plinth, sill band and regularly
placed 2 stage buttresses of 1743 built with stone from the
dismantled south aisle. 2 light mullion window to right with
another above. 4 pointed windows beyond each with 4 pointed,
cusped lights, panel tracery, hood mould, and on the easternmost
window, label stops. East end of north aisle with blocked,
pointed opening that originally led to chapel. North side of
aisle proper of early C15, with 3 pointed windows each with 4
cusped, ogee headed lights, panel tracery and hood moulds. East
end enclosing original north aisle after demolition of transept
in C16, restored C18 and C19, with pointed C19 east window with 4
cusped ogee headed lights, panel tracery, hood mould and label
stops. To left, fragmentary C15 archway with richly moulded head
and blind panelling on soffit. Large west triple responds of
crossing tower of c.1165 with beaded, scalloped capitals and
chevroned, semi-circular arch. Beneath is a late C14 pulpitum,
(according to Stukely it was originally at the east end of the
church and placed in this position at Dissolution). Screen with
2 pointed, richly moulded doorways with cusped oculi in
spandrels, blind panelling and quatrefoil frieze above. Interior
of main vessel of nave with fragmentary blocked arcade and
triforium of nave of c.1160, with roll moulded heads and flat,
radially placed leaf motifs. C19 pointed doorway set back to
left with hood mould and plank door. Cusped pointed C19 window
above. Six and a half bays of the north arcade of C.1430, now
blocked, with pointed heads, continuously moulded piers, wall
shafts rising up to base of clerestory where fragmentary remains
of clerestorey passage visible. Arcade blocked in 1743 when nave
became too derelict to be used as parish church. Windows
inserted, restored in C19. Window in second bay from east with
triangular head and 2 lights. Fourth and fifth bays from east
each with pointed window with 3 pointed lights and panel tracery.
Next bay west with 2 small pointed, cusped windows, with pointed
window above of 2 pointed, cusped lights. To left are the
springers of non-extant lierne vaults for 2 bays. South aisle
with 3 of the westernmost piers intact, with continuous mouldings
carried up without capitals, and hood moulds. Stumps of fourth
and sixth piers from west, with fragmentary eastern respond
revealing C12 masonry. East side of west front had pointed blind
arches flanking doorway with fragmentary nook shafts and moulded
capitals. Tomb stone of c.1422 set in north arch with floreated
cross and inscription: 'Peter (offer) prayers for me, Peter Pious
shepherd (pray) for me. Pray for the soul of John Tomson.' East
side of south-west wall with blind semi-circular opening with
scalloped capitals and shafts. North aisle tower interior with
roll moulded pointed west doorway with band of blind traceried
panelling above. Small doorways give access to route across
front of window. Blocked pointed arch to south, richly moulded
with cusped panelling in soffit. Upper, blind, richly moulded
pointed opening. North doorway with pointed head and continuously
roll moulded surround, and inner panelled door. Doorway in inner
west return wall of the north doorway, with pointed head,
chamfered surround and plank door. Large north and east windows
with blind panelling in each soffit. Tall pointed mid C15
eastern tower arch with blind panelling in soffit. Mid C12 drum
font with roll mouldings embedded in C15 south jamb with shallow
pointed, cusped head above and inner lierne vault on underside,
flanked by blind panels. Tower roofed with tierceron vault. 6
bay north arcade, blocked, and with numerous slender shafts
without capitals running straight into a lierne vault with ornate
bosses. Similar respond piers to the north with 3 late C14
chapels in the westernmost bays, remodelled in the C15. Central
chapel flanked by vestry to west and organ chamber to east. All
3 have fragmentary springers of former ornate rib vault.
Doorways lead from the central chapel into flanking chapels, with
rectangular opening above, to east. Pointed chancel arch heavily
restored in C19 with 2 continuous moulded orders. South wall
east of chancel arch with outline of blocked arcade bay.
Traceried chancel screen, formerly parclose screen to Lady Chapel
in north transept, early C15, heavily restored in C19. Plain
Georgian communion rail. C19 reredos, choir stalls, lectern,
chairs, etc. C15 octagonal font with blind traceried panelling.
2 curved sets of wrought iron railings, one with locked gate,
attached to west wall of tower. Monuments include: one Gothic
ashlar one, to William Wyche, died 1807; a painted wooden board
to Abraham Baly, died 1704, with long inscription; a black and
white marble monument with cherub, to Zachariah Forargue, died
1778. Stone monument with gold paint, to Martha Forargue, died
1792. Another gilded stone monument with foliate decoration, to
Ann Crawford, died 1731. Gravestone to Master Mason William of
Warrington, mid C14, with figure of mason inscribed, holding
dividers and set square, and inscription running round edge.
White marble monument to William Hill, died 1792. Small Anglo-
Saxon stone inscribed with geometric decoration. Another
fragment with Anglo-Saxon fish-scale decoration. Stone monument
to Thomas Robartts, died 1700. Grey marble monument with open
pediment and foliate apron, to Abraham Egarr, died 1744. Ornate
stone monument with cherub, to Elizabeth Hurry, died 1783, and
another, with segmental open pediment to Elizabeth Hurry, died
1742. Stone monument with 2 cherubs and shell shaped apron, to
Henry Hurry, died 1745. Stone monument with urn, to William
Cowling, died 1813. Source: Larken, pp.5-23. Scheduled as
Ancient Monument No. 263.

Listing NGR: TF2415510326

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.