Sunday, 28 August 2016

Following another brown sign

On another lovely day I took myself off to explore the remains of Haughmond Abbey, which was founded in 1135.

It’s not far from Shrewsbury and I followed another brown sign.    Unfortunately due to an overhanging tree, I didn’t see the entrance until I’d driven past and ended up in Abby Wood oops!
After a quick turn-around I found the car park and was actually the first visitor that morning.

In the Abbots hall and private withdrawing room, there are some beautiful carvings.

These are on the inside of the windows in the Abbots withdrawing room.

 Medieval floor tiles.

The powerful FitzAlan family, Lords of Oswestry and Clun, were the Abbey patrons and over the next few centuries their growing influence and royal connections meant the Abbey received generous gifts and endowments.

The remains of the Abbey kitchens with their two huge fireplaces, I could easily stand in them, even as ruins it was a long way up!

 The Chapter House.

Inside the Chapter House, the canons met here daily to discuss Abbey business.

 Carved representations of St Augustine, St Thomas Beckett, St Catherine, St John the Evangelist, St John the Baptist, St Margaret of Antioch and St Winifred are depicted around the arches of the Chapter House.

I’m not sure which saints are in the photograph below.

Only the foundations remain of the Abbey church.

A cresset stone is a type of light; hollows in the stone were filled with either oil or tallow and contained a wick.   As they were very difficult to overturn they could be safely be left burning when the canons attended night services in the church.

In 1593 after the Dissolution, the Abbots Lodging became a fine residence.   After a fire in the 1640’s the buildings were rented out as a farm.

By the middle of the 18th century the abbey was incorporated into the Sundorne Estate and the ruins became the centrepiece of a romantic landscaped park.

English Heritage took over the care of the Abbey in 1984.

Have fun, we are!

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