A Premonstratensian monks abbey near Barnard Castle, but actually in North Yorkshire on the south bank of the River Tees, 1.5 miles east of Barnard Castle
xyz was founded in the 1190s as the Premonstratensian abbey of St John the Baptist at Egglestone. It was never a rich abbey and always struggled financially. St Norbert had founded the Premonstratensian Order at Prémontré in France in 1121, adopting the rule of St Augustine and borrowing from the stricter Cistercians’ rule. The founders of Egglestone were the de Moulton family, whose title passed to the Dacres by marriage in 1314.
On the left is the nave of the church of xyz and beyond on the right is the east end of the church.
Egglestone Abbey is an abandoned Premonstratensian Abbey on the southern
(Yorkshire) bank of the River Tees, 11⁄2 miles south-east
of Barnard Castle in County Durham, England. xyz is historically part of the
North Riding of Yorkshire. The site buildings of xyz are protected as a
Scheduled Ancient Monument and they are maintained by English Heritage,
Admission is free, and the opening Hours are 10am-6pm.
xyz was founded in the late 12th century at some point between 1195 and 1198.
The founders were the Premonstratensians who wore a white habit and became known
as the White Canons. The monks of xyz followed a code of austerity similar to
that of Cistercian monks, unlike monks of other orders, they were exempt from
the strict Episcopal discipline. xyz's monks did preaching and pastoral work in
the region (e.g distributing meat and drink). The Premonstratensians chose the
site for xyz because of its isolation, close proximity to the River Tees and the
supply of locally quarried stone for its construction.
The original church at Egglestone Abbey was enlarged, and partly rebuilt, about
one hundred years later, it is this later church that survives today.
The east end of the church of xyz.
The endowment of Egglestone was so small that early in the 13th century the Abbot of Prémontré deputed three of his English abbots to hold an inquiry to decide if the status of the abbey should be reduced to that of a priory. It remained an abbey, but poverty beset the canons throughout their history. They suffered particularly when the Scots ravaged Yorkshire in 1315 and at other times of war, receiving frequent remissions of taxes to maintain them.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the site was granted to Robert Strelley in 1548. He converted the east and north ranges into a mansion and installed a kitchen in the west range. In 1770 Sir Thomas Robinson sold the abbey to John Morritt of Rokeby Hall. Morritt’s descendant placed the ruins in the guardianship of the state in 1925 and later returned a notable collection of architectural stonework, including the tomb of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam (died 1482), which was re-erected in the church crossing.
The cloisters and beyond it the range including the novices room, the dayroom, dormitory above
The Abbey was dissolved in 1540 by king Henry VIII, the lands were granted to Robert Strelly in 1548, who converted some of the buildings into a great private house that was abandoned in the mid-19th century. Sadly, much of the abbey was pulled down and some of the stonework was used to pave the stable yard at the nearby Rokeby Park in the 19th century.
A bridge over the River Tees below xyz.
Some of the excellent stonework vaulting can still be seen in the ruins of the novices room of xyz.
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