Blanchland Premonstratensian Abbey


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017683

Date first listed: 07-Dec-1990


Ordnance survey map of Blanchland Premonstratensian Abbey
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2018 at 07:30:42.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Blanchland

National Grid Reference: NY 96639 50380


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Blanchland Abbey was one of approximately thirty-one abbeys of the Premonstratensian Order in Medieval England. Of these the remains of only about a dozen survive to any extent and the remains at Blanchland form one of the most complete examples. The site at Blanchland has several features which distinguish it from other monasteries of this order. In particular it has the only surviving example of a roofed Premonstratensian church and is one of only a handful where the west and south claustral ranges survive to any extent. The greatest importance of the site, however, for which it is justly famous, is the completeness with which the whole precinct plan survives and can be seen in the modern village-scape. The monastic buildings were taken over in the years after the Dissolution to make a complete village. The monastic church became the parish church, the cloisters became the manor house and the outer court became the village square surrounded by the villagers' cottages. Even today the village consists of few buildings beyond this remarkable core. The area of the of the scheduling itself contains some of the least disturbed features and deposits relating to the monastery, notably part of the church, cloisters and burial ground, which are of great importance for any analysis of the archaeology and history of this monastery and for the monastic life in the border country of northern England.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument comprises the site of the nave, south transept, cloister garth, east claustral range and part of the monastic graveyard of Blanchland Abbey. Remains of all these features survive beneath the modern ground surface. The later 12th/early 13th century standing cross west of the church tower is also included. The Abbey was founded for the Canons of the Order of Premontre (the Premonstratensians) by Walter de Bolbeck in 1165. Although never a very large house, it was visited by Edward III in 1327 following its burning by Scots raiders. The monastery was initially dissolved in 1536 only to be reformed by the King in 1537 before being finally dissolved in 1539. The site passed through secular hands and was acquired by the Forster family in the early 17th century. By this time or soon after, the cloister had become the core of the mansion, parts of which survive today as the Lord Crewe Arms Hotel (Listed Building Grade II*). The northern and western walls of the former parish burial ground are included in this scheduling as they are considered to incorporate areas of medieval fabric. Other walls demarcating the edge of the area of the monument are not included in the scheduling. A row of buildings to the rear of the Hotel adjacent to the south boundary of the monument are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath them is included. The area of the scheduling comprises only part of the former monastic precinct. It should be noted that the following features of the abbey are not included: 1) the parish church which comprises the north transept and choir of the monastic church. 2) the present parochial graveyard east of the parish church; 3) the remains of the west and south ranges of the cloister and of buildings which originally formed four sides of the monastic outer court (including the precinct gatehouse) which have been converted in various ways into dwellings etc. 4) the village square and adjacent roads. These are all considered at present to be adequately covered by other forms of statutory protection, notably listed building legislation and conservation controls.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12612

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing