Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
There was a monastery here as early as the 7th century, but the Abbey was founded by the Saxon nobleman Ailwine in 964. At that time Ramsey as little more than an island in the fens, and the monks had to build a causeway to connect the abbey to the mainland. was a product of the 13th century. During the medieval period, Ramsey Abbey was one of the most prestigious in East Anglia.
Though most of the abbey buildings were destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Lady Chapel survived to form part of the Abbey Grammar School. The ruined 15th-century gatehouse of the abbey contains superb carvings and an ornate oriel window.
In Ramsey village, facing the gatehouse across a wide green, is the largely 12th-century parish church, once the guesthouse for the abbey.
The thing that struck me most about Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse was the oriel window around the back (to the right of the gatehouse arch). The carving, though worn with age, is wonderful, in a style that suggests the abbot was keen to show off the wealth and prestige of the abbey.
It won't take long to view the gatehouse unless you are fortunate enough to come on one of the limited opening days and can view inside.
Address: Abbey School, School View, Ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, PE17 1DH
Attraction Type: Abbey
Location: on the B1040
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
OS: TL291 851
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
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