Minster Abbey, Isle of Thanet, Kent

Augustinian then Benedictine Monks
Today Benedictine Nuns

Minster Abbey on the Isle of Thanet is still a Nunnery today and the grounds are open for guided tours in the summer months.  Basically two wings of the medieval buildings remain, one (pictured above) terminating in a ruined corner tower.

The first Abbey was built around 650 AD, it was rebuilt as a Nunnery in the 8th century. For a hundred years or so it suffered invasions by the Danes until, in 840, it was finally burnt to the ground.  In 1027 King Canute granted the site to the Monks of St. Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury. Not long after William I destroyed the Isle of Thanet and the Abbey was destroyed once more.  However, once William was firmly installed as King the Abbey was granted to the Benedictines and prospered until the Dissolution arrived in 1538 when huge destruction was unleashed, leaving only the domestic buildings standing.

These buildings remained in private hands until 1937 when a group of Benedictine Nuns arrived from Bavaria (having been evicted by the Nazi regime) and set up their home once more in Minster Abbey, bringing the history of the Abbey full circle.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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