Monument record LCS 001 - Leiston Abbey, Abbey Farm.

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Founded 1182 on a site about 2 miles away nearer the sea (see LCS 002) as a Premonstratensian house, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, by Ranulf de Glanville, Henry II's chief Justicier. listed building scheduled scheduled.


Grid reference Centred TM 444 642 (248m by 282m)
Map sheet TM46SW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Founded 1182 on a site about 2 miles away nearer the sea (see LCS 002) as a Premonstratensian house, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, by Ranulf de Glanville, Henry II's chief Justicier. In 1363 Robert de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, had new buildings built here. This second abbey had several chapels with altars, fine chequer work on outside walls and delicate Perpendicular window tracery. The domestic buildings were damaged by fire in 1389. Value in 1535 was 182 pounds, suppressed 1537 and granted to the Duke of Suffolk, the King's brother-in- law. (NB scheduling document says moved to present site 1182, but source of information not given (see details in (S9). Scheduled by Ministry of Works. Original 7 bay tithe barn exists. Excludes C17 farmhouse (listed) one wall of which formed S aisle of abbey. On foundations of W wall of nave, front wall of C19 addition to farmhouse. Amongst other fragments portion of C16 gatehouse, brick staircase turret remain. (S1) Additional scheduled area to include: 1) Remains to N and W of church under visitors car park. 2) Large thatched barn, unused of 7 bays, built of rough flints rendered, with stone quoins and buttresses. Contains a blocked arch near NW corner. Contains various later alterations but the walls and timber framing of the roof are old enough to be monastic. 3) Barns and out buildings of a farmyard, mostly on or with monastic foundations and including remains of a possible guest- house, a wall with fireplaces, first floor door and windows with early C16 brick mouldings. 4) Surrounding fields of old pasture with earthwork remains, presumably fishponds etc. (S1). For condition of site on 2nd July 1981 please see (S1) Pro Corda Trust proposes extensions to barn (S end) and to studies block SE of barn (S1). Consolidation of the standing walls of the C14 reredorter was preceded by a survey of the fabric (...) and by archaeologicalinvestigations to establish the identity of the building and to elucidate its construction (S3).
Gueston House - Med guest house in ruins to NW of main church was excavated by SAU 1985-1986. Produced late Med brick floors and one unassociated sherd of Ipswich ware pottery.
Please see parish files (S4). History of the Abbey and photograph 1952 (S5). Excavation by Central Excavation Unit, 16-20 December 1985, consisting of three trenches following 1974 & 1985 (R5) resistivity surveys. Good survival under shallow modern ploughing. Details in (S6).
Scheduled area enlarged sometime between 1981 and 1990. Revised scheduled area amended on map, December 1990 after (S10).
1991: Said to be maintained and in guardianship (S11).
January 1996: Scheduled area revised to include further area to E and exclude area to W (S1). Details in (S1).
December 1996: Monitored excavation of two post holes for information board, excavated to 450mm W of monument. Finds - single sherd of Med coarse ware (S16)..
February 1996: Excavation took place, two trenches c.6m long c.1.5m wide opened SW of Guesten Hall prior to building to depth c.0.3-0.5m by JCB. No archaeological artefacts recovered from either trench (S12).
July 2000: Monitoring of very small & shallow cable trench revealed large amount of peg tile fragments. Details in (S13).

Sources/Archives (25)

  • <M1> (No record type): SAM file: (S13).
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Scheduling information.
  • <R1> (No record type): Archaeologia, 73, 1922-1923, 137-142 (ill).
  • <S2> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM46SW2, 1981 (ill).
  • <M2> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: copy (S6).
  • <R2> (No record type): DOE (HHR) Leiston cum Sizewell Suffolk, June 1947, 2.3.
  • <M3> Photograph: CUCAP. CUCAP aerial photograph. APs: SAU AGC 22, AJA 15-17, ALO 9; CUCAP CQ 063.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Archaeol in Suff 1984, PSIA, 36, 1985, (1), 52.
  • <R3> (No record type): DOE (MPBW), pamphlet, 1967.
  • <R4> (No record type): Knowles, D. & Hadcock, R.N.. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (1st ed). Knowles & Hadcock, Medieval religious houses, 1953, 167.
  • <S4> (No record type): SAU (RDC), 11 July 1986.
  • <M4> (No record type): Excavation archive: 1984, 1985.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B J W, Ms, vol XLV, 93.
  • <R5> (No record type): English Heritage (Ancient Monuments Lab), Leiston Abbey Suffolk: Report of resistivity survey, 1985.
  • <S6> (No record type): Central Excav Unit (Kerr J B), Fieldwork summary, 21 February 1986.
  • <S7> Photograph: CUCAP. CUCAP aerial photograph. CUCAP, AP CQ 063, 1950.
  • <S8> (No record type): SAU, APs AGC 22, AJA 15-17, ALO 9.
  • <S9> Bibliographic reference: Victoria County History of Suffolk (Vol I 1911; Vol II 1907). VCH, Suffolk, 2, 1907, 117-119.
  • <S10> (No record type): English Heritage (Payne), letter and map, December 1990.
  • <S11> Unpublished document: Suffolk Preservation Society. 1991. Suffolk Preservation Society Survey. Suff Pres Soc Survey, 1991.
  • <S12> Unpublished document: Abbot C.. 1996. Evaluation Report, Tutors Rooms, Leiston Abbey.
  • <S13> Finds Report: Plouviez, J.. 1995. SCCAS Finds Record:. SAU, Loader T, Letter re monitoring, July 2000, ill.
  • <S14> Photograph: Air Photographs. NAU, TM 444 641, JFW 2-6, 20 July 1992.
  • <S15> Article in serial: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. PSIAH 36 (2) 1986 p152.
  • <S16> Unpublished document: Loader T. 1996. Monitoring of post holes for ia new nformation board at Leiston Abbey.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

May 11 2022 3:16PM

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