Croxden Abbey, Staffordshire
You do not have to travel far in the countryside of the UK before you stumble upon a religious building or site. On our return journey from Dimmingsdale yesterday we headed down a wooded valley and came upon the ruins of what was once a large religious community. The late low spring sun cast long shadows which simply made the ruins more mysterious and surprisingly evocative.
Croxden Abbey dates back to the 12th century and was founded by Cistercian Monks who had travelled from Normandy, France and first established a religious order at nearby Alton before beginning construction of Croxden. Like all Abbeys agriculture needed to play a large part in the financial well being of the community but sadly in this instance it proved unsuccessful, that and high Royal Taxation proved its undoing. The 1538 Suppression Act resulted in its forced closure.
Croxden may be in ruins but you must still marvel at the skills and effort that went into its construction. Detail in the stone carvings, the shear height of the tower and its main arch windows all done without todays construction equipment.
But Croxden’s agricultural roots still survive as the ruins now are part of a large working farm
Croxden is located just north of the Roman Road that runs from Rocester to Wales and the West.
(C) David Oakes 2016