Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Saturday, 10 May 2008

The Abbey and the Meadows

I thought I would add a little local interest on this post. I live in Abbey meadows but I am only a couple of minutes walk from the remains of Newminster abbey and the wet meadows that surround it. The abbey was a cistertian abbey. It was founded by Ranulph De Merley, the Lord of Morpeth in 1137. It was burnt down a year later by Scottish raiders. St Robert of Newminster was appointed the first Abbot of the abbey. The lands belonging to the abbey stretched right up to the Scottish borders leaving it vulnerable to many Scottish raids during the bloody border wars. The abbey was a substantial building about the same size of Fountains abbey in North Yorkshire. The abbey closed after the wave of disolution in 1537. The property was then acquired by the Grey family (of Earl Grey tea fame) but they used the stones to build their own properties. I have posted a few pictures of the ruins, I found dozens of St Georges mushrooms growing with Primroses among the mossy stones. The picture of the meadows hides a substantial amount of standing water. There are thousands of Cuckoo flowers in the meadows but the dominant plant is Great pond sedge. The remains of the wall behind the fingerpost was built with stone from the abbey as there is a lot of the red sandstone among the ruins of the abbey. The house is called Abbotswood and the original part of the house was built with stone plundered from the abbey.


Kingsdowner said...

Interesting post! Er, it that an open empty grave?

abbey meadows said...

Looks like someone's uncovered it and the sheep have kept the grass short ever since. It is empty though.