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SIBTON ABBEY

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The remains of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1150 by William Cheyney, and dissolved in 1536. The abbey and its possessions were then surrendered granted to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and subsequently, in 1610, sold to John Scrivener. A house was built on the site, and the demolition of this in the later 18th century is recorded by Davey, a contemporary local antiquarian. The remains of the abbey church and claustral buildings occupy a platform at the foot of the valley of the River Yox. All that remains visible of the church is the wall of the south aisle of the nave constructed of flint masonry. The foundations of the north wall probably survive below the ground surface. The stump of the west wall of the south transept of the church projects from the eastern end of the standing wall, and west of this is another stump of flint masonry. Abutting the masonry stump is part of a structure of post-medieval brick, perhaps a stair turret and part of the later house. Skeletons and stone coffins recorded to the east of the church mark the location of the monastic cemetery. Buried masonry, possibly the foundations of a flint wall, has been noted in this area. The projections from the church wall, and a fragment of wall footing visible to the south of the western projection, define the limits of a cloister around which were the conventual buildings. The best preserved of these is the south range which contains the remains of the refectory with the buttery and kitchen. The ruined north, south and east walls of the refectory stand for the most part to almost their original height and are built from flint with stone dressings, displaying features of late 12th century date. The fragmentary walls of the west range define a building with a small apartment, possibly the outer parlour. Further remains visible as crop marks on aerial photographs include fishponds and the monastic garden or orchards. A hospital was founded at the gate of the abbey some time before 1264.

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