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An Abbey in Ruins…Right in Our Backyard!

Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of Tim and I wanting to avoid the traffic back-up caused by an accident near Lincoln.

Tim and I went to Tesco a few Fridays ago to pick up some chicken wings, as I had promised my Father-in-Law that I would make him some buffalo wings. On our way into town we noticed there were huge back-ups going the other way. Not wanting to get caught in the traffic, Tim decided to take the long way out of town through some smaller villages and towns. It was a route I had never been on before with some beautiful scenery and winding country roads.

At one point he said to me, “if we turn here, we can see the abbey ruins”. Of course, I had to ask about them! Our short detour took all of about 20-30 minutes, and most of that time was actually walking from the side of the road over to the ruins, as there really isn’t much there to look at. It used to be an abbey called Barlings Abbey.

Barlings Abbey was founded in 1154. in 1537, the abbey was closed by King Henry VIII (when he was closing lots of abbeys, priories, and churches) and all of the valuables were taken away, including the roof! By 1726, only the tower and a few bits here and there remained. The tower fell in 1757 and you can see that some of the stone was used in the nearby farmhouse and farm buildings. Today, all that remains is a bricked up arch, part of the tower base, and lots of rubble. No formal excavating has ever been done on the site, and the remaining wall will probably eventually fall down as well, as it doesn’t have any support nor really a way to support it.

I still get a small thrill touching stones from the 12th century. I can’t help it. It thrills me to the bone to touch pieces of history. I really should have become a historian!

Barlings Abbey is located seven miles east of Lincoln. The site is in private ownership with public access through the farmland (provided you stick to the designated public footpaths) and is free. We actually were only two or three miles away from Tim’s grandad’s house in Langworth, which is only about four miles away from our house!

For more information, see: http://www.lincsheritage.org/community_heritage/guides_information/witham_abbeys/site.php?key=barlings_abbey

Selected photos. More can be seen on facebook:

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