Launde Abbey: The History

Posted: January 24, 2017 in History, Leicestershire, Medieval History, UK
Tags:
Launde Abbey

Launde Abbey

Launde Abbey, south of Oakham in Leicestershire, was founded in 1119 as a priory for a group of Augustinian Black Canons. Over the century that followed it grew as buildings were added. It originally sat in a royal forest but in the 13th century, much of the surrounding land was cleared to create a deer park.

The front terrace and the deer park beyond

The front terrace and the deer park beyond

The priory was dissolved in the mid 16th century along with many other religious houses in England by act of Henry VIII. It was given to Gregory Cromwell, son of Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to King Henry. The Cromwell family lived here for about 60 years and restored and rebuilt many of the monastic buildings turning it into a domestic dwelling.

The oldest remaining section of the house. The 12/13th century chapel on the left and the section at the front of the house icorporates elements from the house of 1550.

The oldest remaining section of the house. The 12/13th century chapel on the left and the section at the front of the house incorporates elements from the house of 1550.

 

The house as seen from the gardens

The house as seen from the gardens

It then passed through a number of different families, most notably the Smiths in the 17th century, who pulled down many of the monastic buildings and built the manor house seen today.

The stable block, now converted into additional accommodation and meeting rooms.

The stable block – now converted into additional accommodation and meeting rooms.

Some elements of the history remain from before the 17th century. One part of the house dates back to the 1550s and the chapel is 12/13th century and was a side chapel of the original priory church.

The Chapel

The Chapel

In 1957 the house was presented to the Anglican Diocese of Leicestershire and is now used as a retreat and conference centre.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s