Haughmond Abbey, which is sometimes referred to as the Abbey of St John the Evangelist, is located only four miles outside of Shrewsbury and of the three houses of Austin canons established in Shropshire, Haughmond founded in 1135 by William Fitzalan, is the older.
The Abbey is set in a beautiful setting on the sloping site of Haughmond Hill which is well tread and shows impressive remains.
The colouring of the mellowed stone against the green of the lawns and the trees make the remains particularly lovely. The ruins includes parts of the chapter house, refectory and the latter infirmary of the 14th century, but only the foundations of the abbey church.
Close by on the hill is the spot known as Douglas’s Leap – where the Earl of Douglas, in flight from the Battle of Shrewsbury, was thrown from his horse and captured by Henry IV’s men.
When the Abbey was in use, the canons would meet in the Chapter House to discuss the day-to-day running of the Abbey and religious business with the abbot.
Inside the Chapter House you can find a number of tombstones on display and an octagonal font, which may have been removed from the church, most of which no longer survives today.
The Battle of Shrewsbury between King Henry IV and the rebels led by Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, in 1403 took place near Haughmond abbey, approximately two miles to the north-west of the abbey. The site of the Battlefield can still be visited today.
The Abbey was finally dissolved in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII. At this time there were ten canons and the abbot in residence.
Following the dissolution, the Abbey passed to Sir Edward Littlejohn and later Sir Rowland Hill and the Barker Family. The site is now in the care of English Heritage.
Handheld – 1 RAW file, 6 different exposures. Generated and tone mapped in Photomatix