Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The History of Cockersand Abbey: Part Two

Time to continue our ‘Cockersand Abbey’ posting.
Speaking of lepers, (which we were last time if you want to check out the previous posting) what appears to be a chimney and hearth (shown in the photograph below) still stand at the rear of the infirmary, even if the walls don’t.

The infirmary, in fact, has changed shape completely, most of its original structure having been recycled in nearby farm walls giving the impression to the uninitiated onlooker (i.e. somebody not fortunate enough to be visiting the abbey when the ruins have been staked out with white lines painted on the grass) that it was originally oval.

Other fragments of ecclesiastical masonry have been incorporated into modern local buildings, such as the shed above.
In fact, huge mounds of sandstone rubble (clearly formerly the abbey buildings) lie scattered around the farm.
It’s extremely tempting to help yourselves to souvenirs. (We didn’t, we ought to add…and neither should anybody else.) But, who knows...if there’s still enough left perhaps at some point or other in the future somebody might even have a go at rebuilding one of the abbey’s other buildings from the remains, although, to be honest, it’d probably need to be one of the smaller ones.
As for where the sandstone originated, look no further than the shoreline where, despite erosion over the centuries that managed to bring down half of King John’s Hall and a heap of quietly resting corpses with it, the original quarry can still be seen. (See photograph below.)

Obviously there’s an awful lot more history to witness and learn about at Cockersands but we can only write so much in one go, so we’d recommend anybody interested in the subject to visit the abbey for themselves. And keep your eyes peeled for those special Open Days.


John said...

Excellent post! Loved the pics.

Would love to see a pic of the sandstone rubble, particularly if it has recognizable features, like the bit on the barn. Really, that stuff ought to be preserved, or at least kept out of the rain.

Maybe you could get a troop of Boy Scouts to put it all back together?

Keep up the good work, JOHN :0)

Brian Hughes said...


Unfortunately all of the photographs of Cockersands disappeared with my recent computer virus (which is why I couldn't include a full frontal of the Chapter House I'm afraid). It was only because I'd saved these particular ones out seperately that they survived.

Still, as soon as I get an opportunity I'll take some more and post them for you. We're slowly getting back to normal...if that's a good thing.