What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland

=How to get there.=–Train from King’s Cross. Great Northern Rly. =Nearest Station.=–Peterborough. =Distance from London.=–76-1/2 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 1-1/4 to 2-1/4 hours.

                     1st     2nd      3rd
=Fares.=–Single  11s. 3d.   ...    6s. 4d.
          Return  22s. 6d.   ...   12s. 8d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Great Northern Railway Company’s
  Hotel,” “Golden Lion Hotel,” “Angel Hotel,” “Grand Hotel,"
  etc., at Peterborough.
=Alternative Route.=–Train from Liverpool Street, via Ely. Great
  Eastern Railway.

Nine miles north of Peterborough the ruins of Crowland Abbey arise out of the flat fen country like a lighthouse out of the sea. With only the nave and north aisle standing, it breathes the very spirit of romance even in its decay. It is easy to picture the time when four streams surrounded the monastery and church and formed an island in the fens, and to recall how Hereward the Wake demanded entrance to the abbey to see Torfrida, and was refused admittance by the Abbot Ulfketyl. In those days two rivers met in the High Street of the little town that grew round St. Guthlac’s Monastery. Now the country is drained, Crowland is a decayed little town with many thatched roofs, situated in an agricultural district; the island exists no longer, and the old triangular bridge rises over the dry Square at a place where three roads meet. This bridge is older and more peculiar than any bridge in Europe that is not of Roman origin. It is believed to have been built in 870, and consists of three pointed arches rising steeply in the centre to permit the rush of water in flood times. It is too steep to admit of its use by any sort of vehicle, and one ascends by steps to the top. At the end of one portion of the bridge there is a stone image of a Saxon king–possibly Ethelbert–with a loaf in one hand.

In the time of Ethelbald, King of Mercians, a young noble named Guthlac, weary of life’s rough way, sought peace in the ascetic life. He drifted in a boat to Crowland Isle, and there lived a hermit’s life till his death in 817. On the spot where he died Ethelbald founded and endowed a monastery on the island, and it flourished exceedingly. The larger part of the conventual church is now destroyed, but the north aisle is used as the Parish Church of Crowland.

[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. CROWLAND ABBEY.

The building rises above the little thatched village, which stands on slightly raised ground in the midst of the fens.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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