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CROWLAND ABBEY

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The pre-Conquest history of Crowland is obscure and confused by the falsifications of later abbots. It is listed as a minster by Stafford, but the evidence for this is uncertain. Benedictine monastery, founded in 714, destroyed in 870, rebuilt in 947 as an Abbey. It was dissolved in 1539. Parts of the later buildings were incorporated into the later parish church which now stands on the site. Buildings erected in 1061 were burnt down about 1091. In 1113 foundations of a new choir were laid, and although damaged by earthquake and fire, work continued to the west end which dates perhaps to 1160-70. In 1254-81 the west front was partly reconstructed. In the 15th century the nave was re-modelled, the north aisle greatly enlarged and the north-west tower built. When the monastery was dissolved in 1539 the eastern parts of the Church were destroyed, the nave with aisles being retained for parochial purposes. The nave roof fell in 1720, the main south wall was taken down in 1744, and the outer north aisle now serves as the parish church. Of the monastic buildings which stood south of the church, no trace remains.

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