[St. Pachomius Library]

Crowland, Lincolnshire


Built on the site of St. Guthlac's hermitage, Crowland (or Croyland) was officially dedicated to Sts. Mary, Bartholomew, and Guthlac; it took its name from the abundance of crows in the area. King Ethelbald established the monastery, which was on an island in the fens of Lincolnshire, c. 716, and its monks followed the rule of St. Benedict. Danes destroyed Crowland in 860, and the monastery was rebuilt in the following century. A fire in 1091 again destroyed Crowland; Abbot Godfrey rebuilt it c. 1110. The main period of building was 1392-1469; the monastery, however, was remodelled and added to until the Dissolution in 1539. In the XVII Century, the fens were drained, and the land around Crowland became farms. A parish church now exists on the site, with a modern Anglo-Saxon-style cross erected in front quite recently to honour St. Guthlac. The traditional location of the saint's cell may also be viewed, among the ruins of the old monastery. Quite striking to the modern visitor is a curious XIV Century three-way bridge with very large, but unidentifiable, statues of people. A Saxon bridge reportedly stood on the same site, but the several streams which once ran underneath are gone.

Although Crowland was never a center of learning like Jarrow, the monks compiled the Abbey Chronicle c. 1360.

Karen Rae Keck and Norman Hugh Redington


Return to St Pachomius Library.