Religious Place In Barnard Castle, County Durham
Beautiful ruins of small monastery founded by White Canons set above a bend in the River Tees near Barnard Castle.
If you're around the Barnard Castle area having a wander or looking for somewhere to visit, then don't forget about the lovely Eggleston Abbey.
The founders of the Abbey were Premonstratensians and in Britain were known as the White Canons due to them wearing white habits. As with most churches and monasteries there would have been an older church on the land and then improved and built upon. This abbey was founded towards the end of the 12th century with further work being done a century later.
Although the ruins of the abbey indicates that it was a magnificent building, it was always in a state of poverty. To retain its abbey status, they always needed twelve canons and at times even struggled to achieve this. Failing to do so would have resulted in the abbey being downgraded to priory status.
This also didn't help that a raucous English army lodged here on the their way to the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, or suffering from regular Scottish invasions.
The abbey lasted another few hundred years until King Henry VIII and his Dissolution of the Monasteries policy was introduced in 1536 resulting in the lands being given to Robert Strelly a few years later.
Robert constructed a big mansion for himself using some of the buildings, however a lot of the stone was used for the nearby Rokeby Abbey. Apparently used for the flooring of the stable yard!
Fortunately the abbey is now in the safe hands of English Heritage.
Just as we parked up in the Eggleston Abbey car park the heavens opened with an almighty downpour. It didn't look like abating so we braved it, but apologies if the photos look a little bleak!
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There is a small dedicated car park for the abbey.
Contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.
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