For many years I have driven to Peterborough and seen Crowland Abbey looming in the distance and have always vowed to go to have a closer look. Well I finally made it and wished I had done it earlier.
Crowland has a fascinating history. On a small island known as Croyland a small church and hermitage were established about thirteen centuries ago. A monk called Guthlac came to Croyland to live the life of a hermit and lived there between 699 and 714. A monastic community was established in the 8th century and Croyland Abbey was dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Guthlac . Through the years the Abbey was endowed with many estates and in the 10th century Crowland adopted the Benedictine rule. The Abbey was dissolved in 1539 and most of it was demolished but the north aisle of the nave was refurbished and is still used as the parish church. Crowland Abbey was the first church in England to have a tuned peal or ring of bells around 986 and the chimes of the present bells were the first to be broadcast on the wireless on 1st November 1925. The pull ropes are the longest in England at 90 feet.
Once you have had a good look round the Abbey walk into the centre of Crowland to see Trinity Bridge, built in the 1300’s. An amazing three way stone arch bridge, it was built to span the confluence of the River Welland and a tributary . They have been rerouted and it now stands in the middle of Crowland with roads and shops all around it . Do make the effort to go to Crowland, it is well worth a visit.