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Leiston Abbey, Leiston

3.7
#23 of 40 in Historic Sites in Suffolk
Ruin Tourist Spot
Leiston Abbey, in Suffolk, England, was formerly known as St Mary's Abbey. It was founded in 1182 at Minsmere by Ranulf de Glanville, Lord Chief Justice to Henry II. The only remains of the old site are the ruins of the Abbey chapel.In 1363 the Abbey was transferred to Leiston, and its patron, Robert de Ufford, 1st Earl of Suffolk, devoted his last years to the building.RuinsThe order of the Abbey was a House of Augustinian Canons Regular who followed the Premonstratensian rule. Unlike monks, their main duties were preaching and pastoral work.GroundsFollowing the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, Leiston Abbey was granted to Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk and brother-in-law to Henry VIII. The Abbey became a farm, the farmhouse being built into the ruins. Later, a Georgian front was added to the house, which was extended in the 1920s.In 1928 the Abbey ruins and farm were bought by Ellen Wrightson for use as a religious retreat. When she died in 1946, she bequeathed the house, ruins, land and buildings to the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. It was purchased in 1977 by the Pro Corda Trust and is managed by them; it is in the guardianship of English Heritage.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
58 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 18, 2017
    We decided to drop into Leiston Abbey just before the end of our holiday as it looked like an interesting site. Exploring the ruins, we found several information boards that were interesting and the r...  more »
  • August 16, 2017
    interesting ruins to look at , and a grassy spot for a picnic. I think there are sometimes events here that may mean that the parking is restricted, but when we were there it was very quiet.  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    The Abbey ruins are interesting for a visit, still in use as a music centre by ProCorda. The cream tea concert in the medieval hall was a real treat. The music was put together by the "intermediate" c...  more »

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