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Historic England Research Records

Croxton Abbey

Hob Uid: 323590
Location :
Leicestershire
Melton
Croxton Kerrial
Grid Ref : SK8230027600
Summary : Premonstratensian monastery founded 1162, dissolved 1538. Excavation revealed plan of conventual buildings. The church consisted of a nave with South ailse, quire, presbytery, South Lady Chapel, South porch or chapel, and North transept. It was much altered and extended in the 13th and 14th centuries. The claustral range was arranged to the North of the church. The chapter house adjoined the North transept. The North range included the kitchen and frater, the West range had the warming house. A probable guest house was built at an angle of 45 degrees to the North range. North-East of the kitchen was the reredorter, and East of the chapter house lay the infirmary. Associated fishponds, moat, closes, barn platforms, watermill and leat surviving as earthworks. C18 Formal garden and dovecot mound. Dependency: Hornby Priory.
More information : (SK 82302761) Site of Croxton Abbey (NR) (Premonstratensian: founded temp Henry II.)
(SK 82512760) Tithe Barn (NR) (site of).
(SK 822275) Fish Ponds (NAT) (1)

Premonstratensian Abbey: founded before 1160, the Convent came in 1162; almost burnt down in 1326. Dissolved 1538. (2)

Founded by William Count of Boulogne and Mortoin before his death in 1159, but the Canons were probably not established there before 1162. Dedicated to St John. (3)

Reproduction of Sir A W Clapham's plan from excavation in 1922-6. (See Map Diagram). (4)

No remains recognisable on air-photographs (OS siting accepted without question). It is not possible to relate Clapham's plan to the topography, but there seems to be no doubt about the OS siting. (This was authorised by H P Dare in 1928 - very near the time of the excavation). (5)

SK 8235 2772; SK 8207 2750; SK 8229 2742. Croxton Abbey and associated remains.
The house was founded as a priory of Premonstratensian canons, and was subsequently promoted to abbey status. The first buildings are said to have been completed by 1162. In 1326, the church, cloister and other buildings were destroyed by fire. A ground plan of the conventual buildings was recovered by excavations in 1926.

Situated on higher ground to the east of the claustral buildings is an earthwork complex comprising enclosures or closes up to 1.5m high on the north-east side associated with earthworks of building platforms, two of which were large barns, representing the agricultural and industrial parts of the abbey.

An extensive series of eleven fishponds fill the valley bottom, each formed by damming the stream, including a group of probable fish breeding tanks. The northernmost pond is flanked on its eastern side by the earthwork of a large by-pass leat nearly 2m wide which fed a watermill now traced as an earthwork. Scheduled (RSM) No. 17109/01.

To the west of the abbey complex is a circular moat known as "Punch's Grave", about 30m in diameter with an additional bank, 5m wide on the eastern side and a surrounding ditch about 1.5-2m deep. It is possible that it was used by the abbey as a rabbit warren. Scheduled (RSM) No. 17109/02.

On the western side of Old Park House built between 1710-20, overlooking the fishponds, are the earthwork remains of a contemporary formal garden covering an area of some 60m x 75m; the earthworks consist of banks and platforms up to 1.75m high.
To the south is a raised platform 15m in diameter representing the site of a dovecot. Scheduled (RSM) No. 17109/03. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1958
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 164
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Leicester, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 28-31
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society
Source details : A W Clapham
Page(s) : 290-1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 1941-5
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Monastic Sites from the Air 1952 168 (Knowles & St Joseph)
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage SAM Amendment Leicestershire 09-FEB-1993
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 187
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Premonstratensian Monastery, Abbey, Priory, Fishpond, Building Platform, Tithe Barn, Leat, Watermill, Moat, Dovecote, Church, Cloister, Chapter House, Kitchen, Refectory, Dormitory, Warming House, Privy House, Guest House, Infirmary
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Formal Garden, Dovecote
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 17101
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Leicestershire)
External Cross Reference Number : 82NW L
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 82 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 323584
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 42902
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 868481
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 964962
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CROXTON
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1922-01-01
End Date : 1926-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CROXTON ABBEY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31