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HAUGHMOND ABBEY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST ABBEY
DESCRIPTION + /

The ruins of the Abbey of St John the Evangelist at Haughmond. A small cruciform stone church (circa 1100) below the south transept and cloister of the later abbey has been identified, and the second phase of this building probably served the Augustinian Priory in the 1130s and '40s. Haughmond became an abbey before 1153. In 1155 it attracted the patronage of William FitzAlan of Clun, and members of his, and the Lestrange families, continued to support it from the 12th to 15th centuries. Demolition of the church occurred in 1180 and a much larger replacement was built slightly to the north. The principal ranges appear to have been constructed by 1190.

The standing remains are of white sandstone rubble construction with ashlar dressings. They include: the foundations of the late 12th and early 14th century church; the late 12th century chapter house; the west wall of the warming house and dorter; the walls of the frater and undercroft; the early 13th century infirmary, and abbot's lodging to the east. The garden was probably laid out by Nicholas of Longor, abbot from 1325-46. The abbey precinct is partly enclosed by an undressed stone wall to the south and west sides. The outer gatehouse and a possible inner gatehouse survive in earthwork form along with other buildings which may have been part of the Abbey. A reservoir and three possible fishponds can be identified, along with various other medieval features.

Following Dissolution in 1539, the site was granted to Sir Edward Littleton, who sold it to Sir Rowland Hill, from whom it passed to the Barker family in 1548. The Barkers demolished the church and dormitory range, and converted the east range and buildings around the southern cloister for use as a private mansion. North of the Abbey are the remains of formal gardens which accompanied the mansion. This residence was destroyed in the Civil War and the property passed to the Corbet family in the 18th century. The Abbey is now in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.