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NEWSHAM ABBEY

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Premonstratensian abbey founded in 1143, also known as Newhouse Abbey. It was the first house of the order to be established in England and was the mother church to eleven other houses. It was suppressed in 1536. The site was in use as a private residence after the dissolution and incorporated into a landscape park during the 18th century. Parts of the abbey including the precinct boundary are visible as earthworks. practically the whole precinct of Newsham Abbey appears to be definable and to survive in a relatively undisturbed state, with the principal exception of the southern fringe. This includes the survival of outer courts and closes. Though the surface remains exhibit little coherence, and the form of the earthworks perhaps owe more to the activities of post-Dissolution stone robbers than to the original structures, the site of the core abbey buildings may be identified as an area of approximately 250m x 170m. This area is defined by the pier base to the north, the scatter of building debris and soil marks, and to the south by the area earthworks. The depth of burial of the pier base and the possibility of floor levels within the stippled area are indicative of the potential quality of the buried archaeological deposits. During the long history of this house further undocumented building campaigns can be presumed to have taken place, among which the building work at the end of the fifteenth century perhaps represents a particularly extensive campaign. As the site appears unlikely to have been occupied as post-Dissolution house all the deposits ought to be medieval in date, albeit disturbed by the activities of the later stone robbers

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