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BASINGWERK ABBEY, HOLYWELL

Site Details


NPRN 35649

Map Reference SJ17NE

Grid Reference SJ19597747

Unitary (Local) Authority Flintshire

Old County Flintshire

Community Holywell

Type of Site ABBEY

Broad Class Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Period Medieval

Site Description By the mid thirteenth century, the abbey buildings at Basingwerk conformed to a fairly standard Cistercian plan. The most prominent structure was the cruciform or cross-shaped church, set out on an east-west alignment. To the south, the monastic buildings were arranged around three sides of a large open square known as the cloister. Elsewhere lay the monks’ infirmary, guest houses, and many other structures related to the daily life and agricultural economy of the abbey. The whole monastic complex would have stood within an enclosed precinct. Initially, the church and the east range of monastic buildings seems to have been completed first, and in the middle of the thirteenth century the monks refectory was constructed on a new north south alignment. In the later fourteenth century a new arcade was placed around the four sides of the cloister, and towards the end of the Middle Ages the southern end of the east range was refashioned, most likely being used as a domestic apartment. In the late fifteenth century, the abbey was roofed with lead and ornamented with glass windows, and new houses for guests were built. Following the dissolution, lead from the abbey buildings was taken to repair the castle at Holt, and some was transported to Ireland for use at Dublin Castle. Basingwerk gradually fell into ruin.

Source: Robinson, D.M. 1996. Basingwerk Abbey: CADW

M. Lloyd Davies, RCAHMW, 05 November 2008

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