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CHER Number:06866
Type of record:Monument
Name:Augustinian Priory, Anglesey Abbey

Summary - not yet available

Grid Reference:TL 530 622
Parish:Lode, East Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOSPITAL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events:

  • RCHME survey, Anglesey Abbey, 1998
  • Resistivity survey at Anglesey Abbey, 1988

Protected Status:

Full description

Anglesey Abbey on site of Augustinian Priory, founded c AD 1212. Fish ponds (remains of) and Moat. Anglesey Priory was formerly a hospital which appears to have been established in the C12, becoming endowed as an Augustinian priory, c 1212. It was dissolved in 1536. The chapter-house and dormitory stand complete, but converted into a house. Remains of a large cruciform church lie beneath the lawn in front of the house, and its main plan has been revealed by air photography. The line of the great drain, the site of the gatehouse and a block of buildings SW of the priory have been located, the latter possibly belonging to the hospital which preceded the priory. (Site planned by GM Dickinson).
Anglesey Abbey was never more than a priory. The remains were pulled down c 1539 and re-modelled as an L-shaped house in c1600. Hollows which were once watercourses and fishponds are visible in the grassland of the abbey grounds. An early C17 mansion incorporating the remains of Anglesey Priory. There is nothing to be seen of the church or ancillary features noted by Dickinson but the fishponds and watercourse remain. Open to the public (National Trust). Published 1:2500 revised. See GP, R6 for full architectural description and history.
The N range of the house is identified as the prior's lodging, built in 1236. The undercroft of that date survives, but the upper floor was probably refurbished in the late C14. Fragments of Medieval masonry found in the kitchen garden imply that the cloister was situated in that area. Many of the earthworks in the vicinity of the house have been mutilated by garden landscaping.
Associated Earthworks: the site of the priory and the extant remains are surrounded by a complex of ditches, ponds, banks and quarry pits not all of which can be interpreted. Many, and especially those in the region of the house, have been mutilated by garden landscaping, but their purpose can be broadly conjectured. Most of the ditches appear to have been used to carry water to and from fishponds (Plate 69) and the priory buildings. The source of water was a stream flowing NW from Bottisham. This was diverted as it crossed Colliers Lane (around TL/527-/615-) and entered the priory precinct at (a) and (b) on plan. The water then flowed through various ditches filling a series of fishponds (c - h), and continued either N past the E end of the priory (j) or NW to (k). At the latter point the stream divided, the surplus water running NW and apparently crossing the line of the present Quy Water; the second branch turned NE towards the priory, presumably passing under or round the buildings and emptying into a ditch (l) to the N. From here the water flowed either N through two sets of ditches, or through a long wide pond (m) into which ditch (j) also emptied, and thence northwards towards Lode village. Pond (m) is now divided into three. Most of the ditches are up to 20ft wide and usually only 2ft to 3ftdeep where not recut. The fishponds, one up to 5ft deep, have low cross-banks within them, marking former divisions. Some of these cross-banks have slight depressions in their centres which are probably the sites of sluices (Plate 69).S of the house is an area of uneven ground, the result of quarrying stone rubble for roads in the early part of this century. During this work the stone footings of a small rectangular building are alleged to have been discovered at (n). Approximately at (o) two medieval coffins were found in 1857.
R8, A resistivity survey was carried out in August 1988 with the aim of locating the foundations of further monastic buildings. The areas surveyed were the S lawn, the strip of lawn to the E and an extensive area of ornamental orchard N of the house. The results were inconclusive, though the S lawn did produce two lines of high readings.
R9. Partial earthwork survey revealed several phases of complex water management, including fish ponds and channels, and one area which appears to be the result of the robbing-out of several buildings.


<R1> 1960, OS 6 inch map (Map). SCB9012.


<R2> Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R.N., 1953, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. 1st edition, 125, 251 (Bibliographic reference). SCB6883.


<R3> PGM Dickinson, 1964, Medieval Britain in 1962 and 1963. Med Arch 8: 231-41, p. 241 (Article in serial). SCB7385.


<R4> 1930, Country Life 68 (Photograph). SCB2524.


<R5> Hailstone, E., 1873, History of Bottisham and Anglesey Abbey. CAS Octavo Series 14, p. 162-3 (Serial). SCB6227.


<R6> RCHM, 1972, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume II. North-East Cambridgeshire, 74 - 80 (plan, photos, ill) (Bibliographic reference). SCB13360.


<R7> Salzman, L.F (ed), 1948, The Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Volume 2, (1967 reprint), 229 -234 (Bibliographic reference). SCB14649.


<R8> Trump, D., 1990, Anglesey Abbey - a Resistivity Survey Exercise. PCAS 78: 76-82 (Article in serial). SCB11018.


<R9> Garrow, D. and Pattison, P., 1999, Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire. Earthwork Survey (Unpublished report). SCB17038.

Sources and further reading

<R1>Map: 1960. OS 6 inch map.
<R2>Bibliographic reference: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R.N.. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. 1st edition. 125, 251.
<R3>Article in serial: PGM Dickinson. 1964. Medieval Britain in 1962 and 1963. Med Arch 8: 231-41. p. 241.
<R4>Photograph: 1930. Country Life 68.
<R5>Serial: Hailstone, E.. 1873. History of Bottisham and Anglesey Abbey. CAS Octavo Series 14. p. 162-3.
<R6>Bibliographic reference: RCHM. 1972. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire. Volume II. North-East Cambridgeshire. 74 - 80 (plan, photos, ill).
<R7>Bibliographic reference: Salzman, L.F (ed). 1948. The Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Volume 2. (1967 reprint), 229 -234.
<R8>Article in serial: Trump, D.. 1990. Anglesey Abbey - a Resistivity Survey Exercise. PCAS 78: 76-82.
<R9>Unpublished report: Garrow, D. and Pattison, P.. 1999. Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire. Earthwork Survey.

Related records

06866dRelated to: 12th century gravestone, Anglesey Abbey (Monument)
12342Related to: Anglesey Abbey, Lode (Park and Garden)
06866aRelated to: Barn and house at Anglesey Abbey (Building)
06866eRelated to: Medieval seal find, Anglesey Abbey (Find Spot)
06866cRelated to: Roman key findspot (Find Spot)
06866bRelated to: Saxon cremation urn, Anglesey Abbey (Monument)