Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

Augustinian Monks

Originally this building was Anglesea Priory and it began life around 1120 during the reign of Henry I when Augustinians arrived and built the first priory. It extended in 1279 and existed happily until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1535 when the canons were expelled and the property sacked for its valuables.

The former priory buildings were sold to Thomas Hobson around 1600. He converted it into a house for his son-in-law, Thomas Parker, and at the same time renamed it Anglesey Abbey. It was further altered around 1861

The house was in a poor state when it was purchased in 1926 by Huttleston and Henry Broughton who began repair work. Henry married and returned to America leaving the Abbey to his brother who began the first Lord Fairhaven in 1930.

Huttleston put a lot of effort into restoring the Gardens at Anglesey Abbey which are now amongst the best in the East of England. He died in without heirs in 1966 and left Anglesey Abbey to the National Trust with the express wish that everything should remain as it was at his death, to preserve a way of life rapidly vanishing. The Trust have honoured this request and today a walk through Anglesey Abbey is a fascinating glimpse of the mid-20th Century, and the Gardens are a pleasure.

The Gardens also include Lode Mill, a watermill still used for grinding flour today.

Although not much remains of the original Priory buildings – a few filled in archways in one room – the Abbey and its Grounds are a great place to spend a day.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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