Doug Wall

Doug Wall

Posted on 01/16/2016


Photo taken on March 17, 2007



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St Augustine Abbey


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St Augustine Abbey, the nave north wall, vestige of the Norman church, topped with red bricks dating from when it served as the palace wall.

St Augustine Abbey, the nave north wall, vestige of the Norman church, topped with red bricks dating from when it served as the palace wall.
To be honest, there is not much left of this abbey that surely must have been splendid before the Dissolution. The Anglo-Saxon monastery had four chapels and churches, most important of which are St Peter and St Paul’s, whose only visible signs are burial sites and St Gregory’s Porticus wall. But two Anglo-Saxon buildings are relatively well preserved: the chapel of St Pancras, saved from demolition by its more remote location, where St Augustine may have said his first Canterbury Mass; and the Rotunda, designed around 1050 to link St Mary’s chapel to the main church.

In the late sixth century, Pope Gregory I dispatched a small group of monks led by St Augustine to bring back Christianity to southern England. King Ethelbert of Kent was easily converted and donated land to set up a monastery which he would use as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent. Thus Saint Augustine’s Abbey was founded in 598, the abbey flourishing under Benedictine rule until the Dissolution when it was surrendered to the Crown and over 940 years of monastic presence ended.

On 30th July 1538 the King's Commissioners arrived to take the surrender of the Abbey and the last abbot and monks were compelled to leave the abbey. The abbey, with its site, its goods, buildings, lands and all other possessions, then became the property of the Crown.

The buildings were converted into a palace where Henry VIII would greet his new queen, Anne of Cleves. The royal residence was used occasionally by the royal family as late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, during which the buildings were leased to a succession of noblemen but eventually in the 17th Century, new owners, the Hale family, dismantled the buildings and carried off its used stones to build a new house at Hales Place.

From 1770 to 1844, a brewery operated within the abbey precincts and a farmhouse stood among the Saxon ruins. In 1804, a portion of the site was divided into lots and sold. The Great Court was used as a bowling green and skittle ground.

It was not until 1844 that a rich young landowner, MP, and generous churchman, Alexander James Beresford Hope, visited the ruins, found them deplorable, and bought them. Together with supporters he envisioned a dual purpose for the college: (a) to educate missionaries and (b) to excavate and preserve the abbey remains. St Augustine's Missionary College operated until the night of 31 May 1942, when its buildings were badly damaged by German bombing.

The ruins of the abbey are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the care of English Heritage.

Rambonp, Tim Hanko, William Sutherland have particularly liked this photo


13 comments - The latest ones
Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen
beautifully captured. Thank you for the info.
19 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Jaap van 't Veen
Thanks for visiting Jaap
18 months ago.
Keith Burton
Keith Burton
Interesting images Doug.............it's good that English Heritage are now caretaking the site. It would be such a shame to see it deteriorate any further.
19 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Keith Burton
Yes, it was once almost as big as Canterbury cathedral. Imagine if they had both survived....
18 months ago.
William Sutherland
William Sutherland
Magnificent capture!

Admired in:
www.ipernity.com/group/tolerance
19 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to William Sutherland
Thanks William.
18 months ago.
Tim Hanko
Tim Hanko
Very nice, Doug.
19 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Tim Hanko
Thank you Tim
18 months ago.
Alass
Alass
Love the history that goes with the wonderful photo
19 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Alass
Thanks for visiting and commenting!
18 months ago.
Anne-Marie(Minus)
Anne-Marie(Minus)
Très intéressant... ce devait être un magnifique édifice
19 months ago.
Doug Wall has replied to Anne-Marie(Minus)
It must have been once :-(

Thanks for Visiting Anne-Marie.[The Cathedral in the background is magnificent though].
18 months ago. Edited 18 months ago.
Rambonp
Rambonp
GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
18 months ago.