Alnwick Abbey

Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In Alnwick, Northumberland.

Owned by the Duke of Northumberland;  no public access.

Founded 1147/8, daughter of Newhouse;  founded by Eustace fitz John, apparently in contrition for fighting on the Scottish side at the Battle of the Standard in 1138.  There is a record of the burial of Eustace’s son in the cloister outside the chapter house.  (CLAPHAM)

Much of the plan of the first church has been preserved.  Tower seems to have been planned from the first.  Round chapter house.  Warming-house fireplace visible.  Refectory built over an undercroft.  No western range, cellarer’s house being in a separate building.  Infirmary to east or south east of claustral block;  had an unaisled hall but no chapel;  represented by a maze of foundations next to impossible to unravel (CLAPHAM)

Number of canons increased to 26 or more;  17 in 1379, 15 in 1381;  22 in 1491;  25 in 1500;  by suppression, between 20 and 30

Relic:  the foot of Simon de Montfort

Net income c. 1535:  more than £189

1st suppressed 1536 because its income was less than £200;  refounded by the king.  Dissolved finally in 1539, with 17 canons.

Dependencies:  hospital at Alnwick;  Guyzance nunnery.
Daughters:  Dryburgh (1150) and Langley (1195).

Excavated in 1884 by St John Hope (Arch. Journ. Xliv, p. 337;  lines of walls are laid out on the surface.  Only gatehouse stands above ground (CLAPHAM)