World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Crowland Abbey

Croyland Abbey
Croyland Abbey
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Broad Church
Dedication Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Guthlac,
Parish Crowland
Deanery Elloe West
Diocese Lincoln
Province Canterbury
Vicar(s) Revd Charles Brown

Crowland Abbey (also spelled Croyland Abbey) is a Church of England parish church, formerly part of a Benedictine abbey church, in Crowland in the English county of Lincolnshire.[1]


  • History 1
  • List of abbots of Crowland 2
  • Organ 3
  • Bell Tower 4
  • Burials 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


A monk named Guthlac came to what was then an island in the Fens to live the life of a hermit and he dwelt at Croyland between 699 and 714. Following in Guthlac’s footsteps, a monastic community came into being here in the 8th century. Croyland Abbey was dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Guthlac. During the third quarter of the 10th century, Crowland came into the possession of the nobleman Turketul, a relative of Osketel, Archbishop of York. Turketul, a cleric, became abbot there and endowed the abbey with many estates. It is thought that, about this time, Crowland adopted the Benedictine rule. In the 11th century, Hereward the Wake was a tenant of the abbey.

Croyland Abbey is located in Kingdom of the East Angles
Croyland Abbey
Croyland Abbey
The location of Croyland Abbey during the 8th century

In 1537, the abbot of Croyland wrote to Thomas Cromwell, sending him a gift of fish: "ryght mekely besechyng yow lordship favorablye to accepte the same fyshe, and to be gud and favorable lorde unto me and my pore house". Despite these representations, the abbey was dissolved in 1539. The monastic buildings, including the chancel, transepts and crossing of the church appear to have been demolished fairly promptly but the nave and aisles had been used as the parish church and continued in that role.

The town was captured after a short siege by Parliamentarian forces in 1643[2] and this appears to have been when serious damage was done to the structure. The nave roof fell in 1720, the main south wall was taken down in 1744. The north aisle of the nave was refurbished and remains in use as the parish church.

Crowland is well known to historians as the probable home of the Croyland Chronicle of Pseudo-Ingulf, begun by one of its monks and continued by several other hands.

The church contains a skull which is identified as the skull of the 9th century Abbot Theodore who was killed at the altar by Vikings. The relic used to be on public view until it was stolen from its display case in 1982. The skull was returned anonymously in 1999.

John Clare wrote a sonnet entitled 'Crowland Abbey' which was first published in The Literary Souvenir for 1828 and reprinted in his last book, The Rural Muse in 1835.[3]

List of abbots of Crowland


The abbey has a small two manual pipe organ. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.[4]

Bell Tower

Crowland Abbey was the first church in England - and among the first in the world - to have a tuned peal or ring of bells (circa 986), and the chimes of the present bells were the first to be broadcast on wireless radio on 1 November 1925.[5] At 90 feet, the 'pull' or ropes are the longest in England.[6]


The churchyard contains the war grave of an airman of the Second World War.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "National Monument Record for Crowland Abbey". 
  2. ^ ; April 1899, article on a piece of Parliamentarian propaganda."Fenland Notes and Queries". 
  3. ^ "Triumphs of Time: John Clare and the Uses of Antiquity, by Bob Heyes from the ''John Clare Society Journal'', no. 16 (July 1997)". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  4. ^ "National Pipe Organ Register entry for Crowland". 
  5. ^ "Crowland Abbey bells to feature on BBC Radio 4 'Feedback' programme" Lincoln Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
  6. ^ Carr, Barbara. "Bell tower: two firsts + a longest". geograph. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  7. ^ CWGC Casualty Record.

External links

  • Croyland Abbey Official Website
  • Visitor's Guide to Croyland Abbey by Rev.d Stanley Swift
  • Crowland (Croyland) Abbey video retrieved 18 December 2010
  • Pboro Attractions

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.