On the way home from our last English trip, we came across signs to Haughmond Abbey when we were near Shrewsbury. We hadn’t been there before and as we had some time to spare, we thought we might just have a look.
There isn’t a lot at Haughmond Abbey anymore; just a rather beautiful and extensive set of remains of an Augustinian abbey, including its abbots’ quarters, refectory and cloister. This is an artists impression of what the Abbey looked like. You can see this an more about the history of the Abbey in the little museum on site.
The Abbey was probably founded around 1135 in the times when Stephen and Matilda were arguing over who should rule the country. If you’re interested in the history of the abbey you can check it out here.
The abbey was constructed in a late Romanesque style. This is an architectural style largely characterised by the use of semicircular arches (and there are arches everywhere you look!).
Possibly the best preserved part of the site is Chapter House, which retains the intricate carvings of Saints set into the arches. From left to right the saints are thought to be St Augustin, St Thomas Beckett, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist, St. Margaret of Antioch, St Winifred and St Michael.
The inside of the chapter house has a wonderfully preserved wooden ceiling and an old stone baptismal font.
There are stone carvings on many of the arches as well.
This is a wonderful site to wander round, especially if you’re into photography and or architecture. It’s under the care of English Heritage, and they do a wonderful job maintaining it.