Monument record MLI60709 - Catley Abbey


Catley Abbey was a Gilbertine double house founded between 1148 and 1154.

Type and Period (5)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The Gilbertine Priory of St Mary at Catley was founded as a double house between 1148 and 1154 by Peter of Billinghay. It was dissolved in 1538. Traces remain of what appears to be the cloister garth with church to the north, with robber trenches outlining a smaller building to the west. In the south-western corner of the partly filled precinct moat is an irregular system of channels, one of which was probably a fishpond. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}{6}{7}{8} The foundation proved locally popular but the priory was never wealthy by comaprison to other reformed monastic houses, and underwent economic decline from the 14th century. It was dissolved in 1538 and the site was later acquired by Robert Carre of Sleaford. Situated in the area formerly known as the Island of Catley, the monument is surrounded by low-lying, formerly waterlogged land. The remains take the form of a series of earthworks and buried deposits, including an area of earthworks representing the inner court of the priory, its buildings and water management features. For more details see the revised scheduling document. {9}{10} Evidence for buildings outside the scheduled area were revealed by geophysical survey. {11} Observations were made in 1969, in a ploughed field to the east of the main abbey site. Several walls showed clearly, and there was a great deal of stone and tile about. Medieval pottery was also identified, including a jug handle, and a large sherd of green glazed ware. {12} Also found on the Catley Abbey site in 1969 were animal bones, including pig, horse and sheep, and two sherds of green glazed ware. {13} Medieval tiles including both roof and floor varieties together with fragments of kiln superstructure found in rabbit scrapes on the edge of the dyke in 1976. {14}{15} A 16th century copper alloy thimble with spiral punching and the number 4 impressed on it (see photo in parish file). {16}{17} Some of the stone from the abbey was used in the construction of a shepherds cottage. On removing some rubbish from the foundations c.1791 several gravestones, human remains, and pieces of painted glass were found. {18}

Sources/Archives (18)

  •  Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. TF 15 NW: 6.
  •  Scheduling Record: HBMC. AM 7. SAM 251.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. vol.2, pp.196-7.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: D. Knowles and R.N. Hadcock. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales - First Edition. p.171.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: ST JOSEPH, J.K.S.. 1952. MONASTIC SITES FROM THE AIR. pp.250-1.
  •  Aerial Photograph: J.K.S. St Joseph. 1945-79. Cambridge University Collection. EA 44-5; FO 8 & 10; PH 30 & 34-5.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. CFJ54; BZT10.
  •  Unpublished Document: R.H. Healey and D.R. Roffe. Some Medieval and Later Earthworks in South Lincolnshire. pp.37-40, figs.22-3.
  •  Scheduling Record: ENGLISH HERITAGE. 1998. REVISED SCHEDULING DOCUMENT 30001. MPP 23.
  •  Graphic Material: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1997. Plan of earthworks at Catley Abbey. -.
  •  Report: Landscape Research Centre Ltd. 1997. CATLEY ABBEY. -.
  •  Index: Lincolnshire County Council. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 15 NW: L.
  •  Index: Lincolnshire County Council. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 15 NW: E.
  •  Artefact: City and County Museum Collection. LM 22-3.76, LM 266.76.
  •  Index: Lincolnshire County Council. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 15 NW: C.
  •  Index: Lincolnshire County Council. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 15 NW: E.
  •  Article in Serial: A.J. White (ed.). 1979. 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1978' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.14, p.66.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. p.354.



Grid reference Centred TF 1186 5555 (396m by 397m) Estimated from Sources

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (9)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.