AD – This is a gifted collaboration
We love getting outdoors as a family and do so a lot with our homeschooling. We have a National Trust membership that we use lots and have recently partnered up with Buyagift to try out the English Heritage membership. After registering our details and online and ordering the membership, it was only a matter of days when our pack hit our doorstep!
Croxden Abbey was our first of English Heritage sites to visit.
Exploring Croxden Abbey
We decided to visit Croxden Abbey in Staffordshire because we had started to cover Norman Britain in our homeschooling. Croxden Abbey was built by Bertram III de Verdun who was the sheriff of both Warwickshire and Leicestershire and a close friend of King Henry II.
Like many noblemen, Bertram founded the abbey with the prerequisite that the monks would hold mass for his family’s souls.
Originally, Bertram bought over 12 Cistercian monks from Aunay-sur-Odon in Normandy. These were Catholic monks that closely followed the rule of Saint Benedict. The Abbey was granted large areas of surrounding lands and became very prosperous. In the mid 14th century this abbey was supplying more wool to Europe than any other religious house. At its peak, there were more than 70 monks practising here.
The abbey was modelled on the mother church in Aunay-sur-Odon and was considered very elaborate compared to other churches of the period. The Abbey had an infirmary that cared for elderly or ill monks as well as dormitories, chapter house, sacristy, kitchen and treasury. Many of the rooms can be seen through the foundations or partially remaining walls. There are also lots of information points explaining what was happening where you are standing.
Over time the abbey suffered financially and was eventually dissolved in 1538 with King Herny VIII ordering the roof to be removed from the abbey to prevent monks returning and auctioned off the land.
The remains of the abbey were taken into state guardianship and are today managed by the English Heritage.
The information points also show you how the building might have looked. It also gives insight into the respective parts of the remains.
The west wall of the chapel is nearly intact and shows just how majestic the abbey would have looked when it was at its peak. This wall is over 60 feet high. The east end of the chapel is where the high altar would have been. The stone caskets that would have been reserved for the Verdun family and other important benefactors are still present.
And of course, you can’t have a trip out without a sibling brawl! If you are a parent then you will be able to relate! (All because Joben wanted a photo by himself). Really?
We had a lovely time visiting Croxden Abbey. It was really well maintained and we left feeling that we had all learned so much valuable information. Our home-schooling journey relies on being able to visit places like this to enforce what we have been learning and give a living dimension to education.
We cannot wait to get out on our next adventure with English Heritage.
*We received a free English Heritage membership courtesy of Buyagift. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*