From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Leiston Abbey
Statistics
Category
County
Coordinates
Grid
Condition
Age
Cost
Abbey
Suffolk
52° 13′ 17.04″ N, 1° 34′ 39.36″ E
TM4432764209
Ruin
1363
Free
Map


View Leiston Abbey in a larger map

  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
Leiston Abbey is an Augustinian abbey, located close to Leiston, near Sizewell in Suffolk.

The original abbey, St Mary's, was founded by Ranulf de Glanville in 1182.He built it in an unhealthy location on swampy ground. Later in 1363, it was moved by Robert de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk. The old abbey was dismantled and the new abbey was built in the more modern Norman style which iclused more chapels and facillities for the monks.

The abbey was finished in fine chequerwork, the windows were ornate and had delicate Perpendicular-style tracery. Some of the domesticbuilding were damaged by fire in 1380, then rebuilt.

After the disolution, the king gave the abbey to his brother-in-law, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. He built a farmhouse into the corner of the nave and north transept and the abbey ruins were used as farm buildings, the church itself being used as a barn.

A new front was added to the house in the Georgian period. The Lady Chapel was restored and furnished in 1918.

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 Edmunds

It was purchased in 1977 by the Pro Corda Trust and is managed by the Pro Corda Music School. It is in the guardianship of English Heritage.