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WIGMORE ABBEY

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An Abbey for Augustinian Canons was founded in 1179 at Wigmore. The original foundation, of a prior and two canons from St Victor at Paris, was at Shobdon (SO 46 SW5) but they moved to several sites in the vicinity of Wigmore before finally settling at Wigmore. Between 1131 and 1179, they moved from Shobdon to Eye, then to Wigmore village, then to Byton before returning to Shobdon. They finally settled at Wigmore Abbey, a mile to the North of the village, in 1179. The complement now comprised an abbot, prior, and 17 canons. The church, dedicated to St James, was all that survived the destruction of the monastery by the Welsh in 1212. The buildings were largely reconstructed circa 1379, at about which time the abbey became a mitred abbey. The existing remains consist of a few fragments of the nave and transept of the late 12th century church, a range of buildings at right angles to the West range of the cloister, a gatehouse range extending West from it and a fragmentary building standing on the roadside to the North, all 14th century. The Abbey was dissolved in 1538. There are also earthworks including fishponds and a large rectangular enclosure.

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