Monument record MLI43629 - Kirkstead Abbey


Kirkstead Abbey was founded in 1139. It was moved in 1187 and destroyed in 1537.

Type and Period (4)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The remains of the Cistercian monastery of Kirkstead Abbey, that was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The abbey was originally founded on a nearby site in AD 1139 by Hugh Brito, the Lord of Tattershall, but moved to this site in 1187, when the land was granted by Hugh’s son, Robert. The abbey was destroyed by King Henry VIII in 1537 because of the involvement of the abbey in the Lincolnshire Rising. The site of the moat embraces about 13 acres. The standing remains are 17m high and 6m wide. A large area of earthworks exists on the site, which are enclosed by a bank and ditch. The only masonry still standing is the south-east angle of the south transept of the church and is 15m high. Possible remains of a medieval pottery kiln or pottery dump have been disturbed by cows in several parts of the site, notably in the north-east, north and west. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}{6}{7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12} St Leonard's Chapel stands near the gates. During the restoration of Old Abbey Farm a considerable number of architectural fragments were unearthed or collected from around the site. Detailed examination of the surviving fragments confirms their early Gothic date and has added considerably to our knowledge of the site. They include voussoirs and vault ribs, sections of piers, sections of windows and miscellaneous pieces. {13} A former Cistercian Abbey church, now a ruined fragment of the south-east angle of the south transept. It dates from about 1200 and was constructed of limestone ashlar. For the full description and the legal address of this listed building please refer to the appropriate List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. {14}

Sources/Archives (14)

  •  Scheduling Record: MINISTRY OF WORKS. 1961. MOW 819. -.
  •  Scheduling Record: HBMC. 1986. AM 107. -.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: OLIVER, G. Rev.. 1846. An Account of the Religious Houses on the East Bank of the Witham. -.
  •  Graphic Material: BUCKS. 1735. -.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. vol.2, pp.135-8.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: D. Knowles and R.N. Hadcock. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales - Second Edition. p.113, 121.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: J. Charles Cox. 1924. Little Guide: Lincolnshire (Second Edition). -.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. PH19-27; EA46-50; CFJ45.
  •  Aerial Photograph: J.K.S. St Joseph. 1945-79. Cambridge University Collection. ET69, 71; BT58, 61; AII54, 58.
  •  Aerial Photograph: J.K.S. St Joseph. 1945-79. Cambridge University Collection. EW88-89; FO11-13; AWX35; AO/LP/63/119.
  •  Aerial Photograph: Paul Everson. 1975-90. RCHM. 2937:24, 1980.
  •  Article in Serial: A.J. White (ed.). 1978. 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1977' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.13, pp.78-9.
  •  Report: HARRISON, S.A. AND HARRISON, A.J.. 1996. Kirkstead Abbey House. Architectural Fragments Survey. -.
  •  Index: Department of the Environment. 1987. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 1/23.



Grid reference Centred TF 1896 6167 (670m by 427m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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