Croyland Abbey; Western Front
Photographer: Sedgfield, W. Russell
Medium: Photographic print
“Croyland was built on a great bog in the fens of the Lincolnshire Holland. It was on an island lying between a number of streams, struggling towards the Wash, between the main streams of the Welland and the Nen…It was a vast watery region of streams, lakes, woods, principally, it may be presumed, of alders and willows, of rank vegetation and wild fowl, with plenty of fat eels. In this tottering and quagmire waste did the Saxon monks lay the foundations of Croyland, Ely, Thorney, Chateris, and Peterborough, having a prophetic sense that, as this unctuous district of fish and frogs, reeds and bulrushes became drained, it would become eminently rich. Another motive, no doubt, was to avoid the visits of the Danes, who might find such places as Lindisfarne and Whitby, on their solid rocks, more accessible, and might not care to drag their vessels up the sluggish streams of Lincolnshire, or to wade amid its mud after these half-aquatic nests of monks.”
Excerpt from “Croyland Abbey”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain and Ireland’ by William Howitt.