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Historic England Research Records

St Augustines Abbey

Hob Uid: 464466
Location :
Kent
Canterbury
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TR1545057750
Summary : The main building and site of St Augustine's Abbey. A monastery was probably founded here in 598 and consolidated with the building of the Church of St Peter and St Paul. This church was only one of a row of buildings for worship. The Chapel of St Mary dated about 620 was later built to the east and further east still the Chapel of St Pancras was constructed. Finally a small chapel was added to the west of the Church of St Peter and St Paul. This row of chapels and churches can be paralleled at Wells, Glastonbury and Winchester. These churches not only served the monastery for the purposes of worship but also served as funerary churches for the Archbishops and Royal dynasty. There is little evidence for the many domestic buildings that might be expected to support such a community during the late Anglo-Saxon period. Excavations on the north side of the Abbey has revealed evidence of a long history of domestic occupation preceding the 11th century rebuilding. The earliest building has always thought to be a detached rectangular structure underlying the later refectory. It is generally accepted that these buildings belong to the late Anglo-Saxon period and documentary evidence does imply that the site continued to develop through the 8th to 11th centuries. The final phase of this period was the attempt by Abbot Wulfric to build a rotunda linking the churches of St Mary and St Paul and St Peter. This was only part built by the time of his death in 1061 and later demolished by Abbot Scolland after 1071 when the Abbey was rebuilt. The new Abbey was not completed until the time of Abbot Hugh de Fleury (1108-1126). There were later additions to the Norman Abbey in the 14th century when chapels and a new crossing tower were added and the towers heightened. The ambulatory was also remodelled at this time. Systematic destruction of the Abbey after the Dissolution began in 1541. The Abbey is now in the care of English Heritage.
More information : [TR 154577] Remains of [NAT] St Augustine's Abbey [NR]
(Benedictine. Founded c.AD 598) [NAT]. (1)

St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury; Benedictine; founded 598-605; dissolved 1538. (2-3)

Full description and plans. (4)

The majority of the remains of St. Augustine's Abbey is in the care of the MOW and as described; the remainder, which includes all the habitable buildings, forms part of St. Augustine's College. For details of buildings, plans, identifications, etc. see map diagram. (5)

Tombs at St. Augustine's. (6-7)

St Augustine's Abbey: originally dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul was founded in 598 by St Augustine, to be a burial place for himself and his successors and for the Kings of Kent. Considerable remains of the Church and tombs have been found. To the N underlying the Medieval cloister are remains of an added porticus and perhaps of the 10th century cloister (TR 15 NE 226). Two early churches were built in the same enclosure - St Pancras (TR 15 NE 83) and St Mary (TR 15 NE 267). A large octagonal building begun by Abbot Wulfric shortly before The Conquest (TR 15 NE 266) was designed to unite the church of SS Peter and Paul with that of St Mary. The lower part of the walls of this building still survive, together with the massive piers of its internal arcade. After The Conquest, Abbot Scotland swept away the earlier buildings and began to erect the great church of which much of the crypt (TR 15 NE 309), transepts and nave (TR 15 NE 350) have been excavated. The nave was completed by Scotland's successor. Two notable later additions were the 16th century Lady Chapel (TR 15 NE 249). Three kings of Kent are buried in the S. transept (TR 15 NE 310).

The extensive monastic buildings have been excavated but are mostly covered in; the cloister and walls of the buildings flanking it may, however, still be seen.
Of the subsidiary structures still standing the most important are the Great Gatehouse, built in 1309 (TR 15 NE 223), the Cemetery Gate built in 1399 (TR 15 NE 222) and the Guest Hall (TR 15 NE 224). Adjoining the church are the scattered remains of a building erected
by Henry VIII (TR 15 NE 349). (8-9)

AS bronzes found at St Augustine's. (10)

Remains of St Augustine's Abbey, Grade I. (11)

Excavations 1972, revealed foundations of the Abbey precinct wall on line of present wall in Longport and foundations of Medieval buildings in the SW part of the site. (12)

Excavations on S side of Abbey Church 1973-4. (13-14)

Report on excavations at W end of nave, 1955-8. Plan showing Anglo-Saxon, Norman and later monastic buildings. (See illustration card). (15)

History of site and list of all excavations carried out. (16)

Excavations, 1983. (17)

Boundary wall foundation excavated April 1985 N of Cemetery Gate. (18)

Excavations in outer court, 1983-4. (19-20)

Dependencies: Minster, Salmstone, and St Laurnce's Hospital, (Canterbury). (21-22)

Scheduling revised. (23)

There ar 11 documented Saxon carved fragments known from the abbey. These include a 10th-11th century cross-shaft, 11th century grave-slab 9th century capitale, and 10th and 7th century balusters. (24)

It has been suggested that when the crypt altar was rededicated to St Mary and the Angels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael in 1325 the rounded chapel was also squared-off and the wall plaster painted. The surviving decoration probably relates to this period. The scheme consists of an interlacing medallion pattern in red and yellow, with foliate decoration within the restuling lozenges. The painting is important evidence of the early appearance of the crypt. (25)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : OS 1/2500 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 62
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : City of Canturbury, 07-SEP-1973
Page(s) : 144
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 856
Source Number : 12
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details : (L Webster J Cherry)
Page(s) : 144
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 17, 1973
Source Number : 13
Source : Council for British Archaeology: Calendar of excavations; summaries
Source details : 1974 (D Sherlock)
Page(s) : 10
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Council for British Archaeology: Calendar of excavations; summaries
Source details : 1975 (D Sherlock)
Page(s) : 6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details : plans (A Saunders)
Page(s) : 25-63
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 1978
Source Number : 16
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (M Sparks)
Page(s) : 325-344
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 100, 1984
Source Number : 17
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (P Bennett)
Page(s) : 247-251
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 99, 1983
Source Number : 18
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (I Anderson)
Page(s) : 238-239
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 102, 1985
Source Number : 19
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (P Bennett)
Page(s) : 294-295
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 101, 1984
Source Number : 20
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (P Bennett)
Page(s) : 79-117
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 103, 1986
Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Kent, volume two
Source details : (RC Fowler)
Page(s) : 126-33
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 21
Source : Continuity and colonization : the evolution of Kentish settlement
Source details :
Page(s) : 187-205
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 22
Source : English Heritage book of St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury
Source details :
Page(s) : 107-110, 121-122
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 23
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Scheduling Revised 16-OCT-2002
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 24
Source : Corpus of Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture, volume 4 : south-east England
Source details :
Page(s) : 127-135
Figs. :
Plates : 20-58
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 25
Source : Our painted past : wall paintings of English Heritage
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Ministry of Public Buildings and Works Guide
Source details : MOW Guide to St Augustine's Abbey, edition of 1961
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 05-FEB-65
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Journal of the British Archaeological Association
Source details : New Series 1924 (RU Potts)
Page(s) : 141-143
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30
Source Number : 7
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (RU Potts)
Page(s) : 97-112
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 38, 1924
Source Number : 8
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : plans plates XII-XIII (RU Potts)
Page(s) : 278-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 86, 1929
Source Number : 9
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (RU Potts)
Page(s) : 179-194
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 46, 1934
Source Number : 10
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : illusts (C Ralegh Radford)
Page(s) : 506-508
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 20, 1940

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Built between 598 and 619
Monument End Date : 619
Monument Start Date : 598
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Church, Abbey
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Founded 598
Monument End Date : 598
Monument Start Date : 598
Monument Type : Monastery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Built early to mid 7th century
Monument End Date : 666
Monument Start Date : 601
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Chapel, Abbey
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : 8th to 11th century
Monument End Date : 1070
Monument Start Date : 701
Monument Type : Monastery, Building, Cloister, Tower, Chapel, Abbey
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : C9-11
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 801
Monument Type : Cross, Grave Slab, Carved Stone
Evidence :
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Abbey rebuilt from 1071
Monument End Date : 1126
Monument Start Date : 1071
Monument Type : Abbey, Church
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Alterations and additions 14th century
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1301
Monument Type : Abbey, Church, Tower, Wall Painting
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Destroyed from 1541
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1541
Monument Type : Abbey, Church
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Period : Early Medieval
Component Monument Type : Cross, Grave Slab, Carved Stone
Object Type : CAPITAL
Object Material : Limestone, Sandstone

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 49
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 439786
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 83306
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 218
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 30283
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Kent)
External Cross Reference Number : TR 15 NE 124
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K960874
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961001
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961003
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961042
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961044
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961050
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961074
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : K961075
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1096932
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1016844
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TR 15 NE 124
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 468608
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 464359
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 468797
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 469519
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 464588
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464607
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464613
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464615
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464633
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464642
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464643
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464473
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464564
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464568
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464644
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464612
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464611
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464646
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464631
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464609
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464425
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464591
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464641
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464616
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464640
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464589
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464590
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464639
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464647
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464636
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464610
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464617
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464565
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464566
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464635
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464645
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464608
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464593
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464569
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464634
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464567
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464630
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464629
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464592
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464648
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464632
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 464379
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY, HOSPITAL GROUNDS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1845-01-01
End Date : 1845-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1867-01-01
End Date : 1869-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1885-01-01
End Date : 1885-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1900-01-01
End Date : 1900-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1901-01-01
End Date : 1903-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1907-01-01
End Date : 1907-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1914-01-01
End Date : 1915-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY, ABBOT ROGER'S TOMB
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1918-01-01
End Date : 1918-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1920-01-01
End Date : 1922-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1924-01-01
End Date : 1924-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1927-01-01
End Date : 1931-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY: SOUTH SIDE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY (SOUTH SIDE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY, CEMETERY GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NEW ABBEY MUSEUM/VISITOR'S CENTRE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY MUSEUM
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE KING'S SCHOOL, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NEW GRANGE HOUSE, KING'S SCHOOL, ST. AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TUDOR GARDEN, ST AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NEW GRANGE HOUSE, THE KING'S SCHOOL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE KING'S SCHOOL, ST. AUGUSTINE'S ABBEY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND ADJACENT TO 2 PARK COTTAGES, LONGPORT
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE GREAT DRAIN, SOUTH PRECINCT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31