Latest Archaeology News

SAWTRY HISTORY SOCIETY PROJECT ON THE CISTERCIAN ABBEY OF ST MARY AT SAWTRY AND SAWTRYJUDITH MEDIEVAL VILLAGE

The History Society  undertook a Geophysics project this summer to find out more about the Cistercian Abbey of St Mary at Sawtry and the deserted medieval village of Sawtry Judith. The site became a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1954. Although much research has been done over the years by local archaeologists, by English Heritage, now known as Historic England and more recently by members of the History Society, there are still many gaps in what we know about the Abbey site which was founded in 1147 and the village settlement with the church of St Mary's. The village of Sawtry Judith was recorded as a land holding of Countess Judith in the Domesday Book, written in 1086,  which states it had  a Church, 27 villagers and a priest ,so the church and village settlement pre dates the Abbey. Historic England are keen to know more about the Abbey Site and the Medieval village and would like us to help them fill in some of those gaps. We are currently researching both the Abbey site and the medieval village and hope to publish our findings in the future.

Links to Historic England and the Domesday Book.

HISTORIC ENGLAND - Sawtry Abbey

DOMESDAY - Sawtry 

Visit to Roche Abbey

A visit was made to Roche Abbey near Rotherham on 18th June to see the Abbey Ruins there. This Abbey ruin was Cistercian and almost identical in layout to Sawtry Abbey with some minor differences. It was lovely to see Abbey Ruins so much like Sawtry's. It is now easier to picture what ours at Sawtry would have looked like. There would have been a standard layout of all Cistercian Abbeys, building them in a isolated spot near to a body of running water and if the water wasn't running the Monks created a weir like the one at Roche to keep the water flowing. The fresh water would have been used in the kitchen area and flowed down to the Garderobes (Toilets) for sanitation  The images below are of the Gatehouse and what remains of the Nave, the Cloister and the weir. For more information on Roche Abbey please click the link to Historic England  Roche Abbey Website.

  

                                   

HISTORIC ENGLAND - Roche Abbey

 

            

    Pictures copyright  © MarilynGautreaux for Sawtry History Society