Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 49221 68404



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


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Denny Abbey, (1977)
Clay, W K, History of Waterbeach, (1859), 84
Masters, R, History of Waterbeach38
Ravensdale, J R, Liable to Flood, (1974), 142
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1948), 259-262
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, (1967)
'Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society' in Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, , Vol. 29, (1927), 72
Hodgson, J F, 'Archaeology' in Archaeology, , Vol. 42, (1885), 240


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 21 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/00261/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Neil J. Clarke. Source Historic England Archive
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