Crowland Abbey was dissolved in the 1530s during the Reformation, part of Henry VIII’s restructuring of the England church. However, unlike many monasteries at that time, significant parts of the buildings did remain.
However, during the English Civil War of the 1640s, the rebellious forces of Oliver Cromwell finally took the what remained of the abbey in a siege against the Royalists in 1643. It was at this time that the structure appears to have sustained much more serious damage, as some of the remaining architecture testifies.
copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019
Peterborough Cathedral is probably one of the most underrated churches in England.
The Gothic fan vaulting at the east end of the cathedral is remarkable.
The cathedral also has three notable shrines to saints. The one above is Saint Oswald’s chapel, an old English saint, whose remains (reputedly an arm) were brought here.
There is also a shrine to Saint Benedict with a beautiful wood carving at the entrance. Peterborough Cathedral is in fact the Abbey church of the former Benedictine Abbey, dissolved by Henry VIII when he became head of the Church of England.
Most interestingly, there is a shrine to three old English (Anglo-Saxon) saints, Kyneburgha, Kyneswitha (spelling varies) and Tibba, unusual but fascinating names of a largely forgotten era.
The spacious choir has some wonderful wood carving.
words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019