Description of Sawtry Abbey
The following is a description of a major Cistercian Abbey, founded in the twelfth century about one mile to the east of Sawtry but destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries. Nothing now remains other than some very indistinct earthworks.SAWTRY JUDITH (B.c.). (O.S. 6 in. XIII N.E.)
Sawtry Judith is a parish 6 m. N.N.W. of Huntingdon. There is no church and the principal monument is Sawtry Abbey of which only earthworks remain.
(1). SAWTRY ABBEY stood on the E. edge of the parish. It was founded for Cistercian monks by Simon St. Liz, about 1147-8. The buildings were entirely destroyed subsequent to the dissolution in 1536, and the foundations were dug through for stone in the 19th century. This last operation left on the site a series of holes and ditches which enable the general lay-out of the buildings to be plotted on paper.
The claustral-block consisted of the church, of normal Cistercian plan, on the N.,cloister with chapter-house and dorter on the E., frater, at right-angles on the S., and cellarer's building on the W. The size and arrangement of these buildings is shown on the accompanying plan.
To the S. of the claustral-block was a large guesthouse, the plan of which may be compared with that of the building at Ramsey, now used as the parish church. The various enclosures, ponds banks and quays, surrounding the abbey are shown on the accompanying site-plan.
Various fragments of worked stone from the abbey are preserved at Grange farm and at Whitehall in this parish; at the latter place there are also two stone coffins with shaped heads.
Condition-of earthworks - poor.
Date of coverage1990
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