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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Holland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 24155 10326


CROWLAND ABBEY WALK TF 2410-2510 (east side)

18/4 Crowland Abbey 7.2.67 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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Larken, H, Visitor's Guide to Croyland Abbey and Croyland Bridge, (1925), 5-23


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 16 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/05341/31
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David Miles. Source Historic England Archive
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