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Croyland Abbey Also known as Crowland Abbey



Other Information

  • Croyland Abbey, stands in the village of Crowland. Although Crowland is the modern usage for the church name, Croyland (the medieval spelling) remains in use by the church itself.
  • The abbey was established by the hermit, St Guthlac who moved there as it was a solitary place, and at the time an island. Guthlac had made a bet with Prince Ęthelbald of Mercia that if he became king he would build an abbey in Crowland and two years after Guthlac's death Ęthelbald ascended the throne and kept his promise.
  • A cult rapidly built around Guthlac and he was raised to sainthood, which saw the abbey grow and grow in size until a late era Romanesque church, complete with a huge crossing tower was erected in the early 12th century.
  • A number of famous English historical figures are supposedly buried in the church including Lady Godiva, and Hereward the Wake, who insisted on being buried alongside his wife before he vanished.
  • In the centre of the church was a magnificent crossing tower. The remains of one of the Romanesque crossing arches still stands as do some small parts of masonry on the two western crossing columns that hint at the original scale of the church.
  • The church is mostly ruined following the reformation which saw the destruction of the vast majority of the structure. Part of the nave and aisles survive due to their conversion into a parish church.
  • The church was a scene of fighting during the English civil war and the remainder of the nave was badly damaged. The failure to repair this caused the roof to collapse in 1720 and the south wall to be removed from the nave in 1744 leaving the church in the form it's in today.


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Reference Data

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Last Editorial Date

Building Location

East Street, Crowland. PE6 0EN
South Holland District Council
East Midlands
United Kingdom

Building Specification

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Completion date
Heritage Status
Grade I

Roof Height (AGL)

Market Data

Primary Use
Place of Worship

Metres > Feet