Eastbridge Chapel and Leiston Abbey - Suffolk :: Shared Description
Leiston Abbey is a well preserved site in north Suffolk. The site is used partly as a music school but the abbey is free to look around. It is under the care of English Heritage.
The first chapel was established in marshy ground 3 miles from here at Minsmere TM4765 : Eastbridge Chapel
. The idea being that the religious site was far away from anywhere. It was founded by Sir Ranulf de Granville in 1182, the rich land owner was Lord Chief of Justice to King Henry II.
After nearly 200 years the site was abandoned, much of the stone was taken to Leiston. All that remains today is a small stone building on the hill, it conseals a WWII pillbox. Access is due to be provided in 2011 after recent stabilisation works.
Leiston was established in 1363 (or 1365 as some say) with a large church and adjoining cloisters. The abbey did well until Henry VIII abolished it in 1537 later passing onto Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk and brother-in-law to Henry VIII. The Abbey became a farm, the farmhouse being built into the ruins. Later, a Georgian front was added to the house, which was extended in the 1920s.
In 1928 the Abbey ruins and farm was bought by Ellen Wrightson for use as a religious retreat. When she died in 1946, she bequeathed the house, ruins, land and buildings to the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. It was purchased in 1977 by the Pro Corda Trust.
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Created: Mon, 19 Jul 2010, Updated: Tue, 1 May 2012
The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2010 Ashley Dace, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.