Denny Abbey

21 Sep 1999
Denny Abbey, Ely Road, Waterbeach, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire, CB5 9PQ
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


4/147 Denny Abbey 31.8.62 GV I

Benedictine abbey church remains c.1150; later C12 and C13 additions by Knights Templars. Converted to Franciscan nunnery in C14 by the Countess of Pembroke (d.1377), and farmhouse after the Dissolution with further C18 and C19 alterations. Between 1947-1977 the partitions of the farmhouse were mostly removed by the MPBW and later the DoE; excavations within the building revealed the late C12 south aisle. Barnack and ashlar limestone with limestone rubble; C16 red brick and brick repairs, C19 gault brick eaves cornice, walls originally plastered. Plain tile roofs. Two storeys (originally three), each facade with blocked openings and inserted C18 and C19 windows, some retained and replaced, others recently blocked and plastered. The east facade shows clearly the blocked chancel arch and ambulatory arches of the original church superimposed to the north by the attached shafts of the C14 church of the Franciscan nuns demolished at the Dissolution. Interior. The nave and transepts of the original cruciform church survive to eaves height with the addition of one bay and a south aisle and clerestorey by the Knights Templars c.1170, the clerestorey windows are now blocked or partly uncovered. The south aisle was demolished for the later C13 Templar infirmary which included a small C13 room to the south west. The fine scissor-braced roof is partly restored. Alterations to the church and infirmary c.1342 when converted to the domestic quarters of the Countess of Pembroke and the Franciscan nuns included the demolition of the C12 chancel, the insertion of a first floor and stair cases, the blocking of the C12 crossing arches, new openings at both floor levels, and chimneys. In the C16 the gable wall of the south transept was rebuilt in red brick with a large stack and hearths at both floor levels. Main building excluding infirmary reroofed c.1773. Displayed in the building are medieval floor tiles and carved stone details. The building is Crown Property and is a scheduled Ancient Monument.

Masters, R. History of Waterbeach p. 38, 1 Clay, W.K. History of Waterbeach p. 84 1859 Hodgson, J.F. Arch. Vol. 42, p. 240, 1885 Barnard, L.A.B., P.C.A.S. Vol, 29, p. 72 1927 V.C.H. II p. 259-262 1948 Spittle, S.D.T. Arch. J. Vol, 124, 1967 DoE leaflet, Denny Abbey 1977 Ravensdale, J.R. Liable to Flood, P,142 1974

Listing NGR: TL4922168404


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0416 IOE Records taken by Neil J Clarke; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Dr Neil J. Clarke. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Clarke, Neil J.

Rights Holder: Clarke, Neil J.


Ashlar, Brick, Lincolnshire Limestone, Plaster, Rubble, Tile, Medieval Abbey, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Religious House, Benedictine Monastery, Monastery, Templars Church, Church, Place Of Worship, Templars Preceptory, Preceptory, Franciscan Nunnery, Nunnery, Infirmary, Health And Welfare, Farmhouse, Domestic, Agricultural Dwelling, Dwelling, House, Agriculture And Subsistence, Farm Building, Agricultural Building