Record Details

NHER Number:10344
Type of record:Building
Name:Langley Abbey

Summary

Langley Abbey, a house of Premonstratensian Canons, was founded in 1195 by Roger Fitz Roger of Clavering. It housed fifteen to twenty canons and was dissolved in 1536. The site is enclosed by a moat. Parts of the cloisters, church, gatehouse, chapter house and infirmary survive. Most of these date to the 13th or 14th century although the remains of the gatehouse are largely 16th century. The ruined buildings have been investigated by excavation in the early 20th century. Some of the remains have been converted into a barn and agricultural store. A farmhouse was built here in the 18th century. There are also earthworks around the upstanding remains which have been surveyed and are visible on aerial photographs.

Images

  • Langley Abbey.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Langley Abbey.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TG 3624 0291
Map Sheet:TG30SE
Parish:LANGLEY WITH HARDLEY, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Premonstratensian Canons of Alnwick founded 1195 by Roger Fitz Roger of Clavering. (S1) records foundation as 1198.
Inner gatehouse; church, east end south chapel with remains of arcade; west end south aisle; south jamb west door; chapter house; gatehouse; infirmary south-east angle.
Dissolved 1536.
R.R. Clarke, (NCM).

(S2) dates remains to 13th to 15th centuries. Aerial photography shows earthworks to northwest of ruins, and enclosing moat.

J. Lodey (NAU) 1982 reports a fine vaulted undercroft (now used as barn) and jettied stables with living quarters above.

Part excavated 1908, again 1921 to 1922 (copy of notes in Bolingbroke Collection) and again 1948 by boys of Langley School mainly cleaning up walls excavated by [1] in 1921 to 1923.
R.R. Clarke (NCM).

See detailed description in (S3).
Farmhouse is around 1800.

Site visited by A. Rogerson (NLA) June 1994 after moat cleaned out, (S4) in file.

See file for NHER 10304 for report by [2] describing earthworks he regards as fishponds, chapel site and underlying manorial site.
See [3].
E. Rose (NLA), 22 September 1995.

1996. Earthwork Survey.
Site extended to northeast by earthwork survey at 1:1000 by B. Cushion (NLA) supersedes the above-mentioned report.
See (S5).
E. Rose (NLA), 14 November 1996.

Possibly includes original site of village cross.
See discussion under NHER 11724 and in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 1 March 2001.

Notes on 19th century fireplaces within house in file.
See (S6).
E. Rose (NLA), 18 October 2001.

July 2002. Visit.
Site visit as part of plans to open complex to public. Not possible to make detailed record in circumstances, but though (S3) for the cellarium is adequate, that for the stables is not. The interior clearly shows the range has been extended to north and south in timber framing different to the original work, and the lower walls of this contain reused stone - probably 17th century. At the south end of the cellarium is a more recent set of stables, 19th century brick, internal fittings not of interest, but base of south wall is older. Earthworks at this date overgrown with nettles etc.
E. Rose (NLA), 18 July 2002.

See (S7) in file for a useful summary.
D. Gurney (NLA), 27 May 2003.

October 2005
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning the conversion of an agricultural store to farm management office accommodation
See (S8) for further details
H. White (NLA), 23 March 2009

June 2007. Norfolk NMP
Earthworks and cropmarks relating to Langley Abbey are visible on aerial photographs (S10-S21). The earthworks have previously been recorded by ground survey (S5, S9). The abbey occupies a roughly trapezoidal site on the edge of the marshes to the south of the River Yare. The boundary of the site, and perhaps also the precinct, is marked by an extant and earthwork ditch or moat. The extant ditch is present on the southern and eastern sides of the site. The broad earthwork moat defines the north-west and part of the south-west sides of the site. Several ranges of buildings are visible as parchmarks in the grass in the southern part of the site. These are located between TG 3629 0274 and TG 3639 0277. The southern and northern areas of site are divided by earthworks of boundary banks and ditches. Cropmarks of further possible structures are present in the northern area at TG 3608 0298, TG 3615 0296 and TG 3622 0300. Two pond-like earthworks are located on the eastern side of the site at TG 3637 0286 and TG 3627 0300. To the east of the main area of the site are cropmarks and soilmarks of banks and possible drainage ditches. The standing structural remains of the abbey buildings were not mapped.
J. Albone (NMP), 22 June 2007.

Licence to crenellate granted 15 September 1346.
Information from (S21).

June 2009. Repairs to the barn.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning retiling of the north roof, thatch repairs to the south roof, truss repairs, demolition of modern agricultural plant and silos, repairs to the door and windows, new staircase in timber and glass, new glazed screen and doors behind the renewed barn doors.
See (S23) for further details.
H. White, (NLA), 24 August 2009.

July 2009.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning the consolidation and repointing of the ruined walls of the east cloister.
See (S23) for further details
H. White, (NLA), 11 August 2009.

March 2010. Watching brief.
Archaeological monitoring revealed features at the junction of the northern wall of the gatehouse and the north-western corner of the barn/western range that were contemporary with the original use of the abbey. These comprised a buttress surviving below ground level and subsequent reinforcement at a later date. Later features in the barn/western range post-dating the Dissolution include a porch leading to a door in the eastern wall, a retaining wall blocking a further door in the eastern wall and a heavily-truncated internal stair leading to a door in the western wall . A brick wall was also identified to the north of the gatehouse.
See (S24 and S25).
D. Holburn (HES), 13 September 2011.

2010
During spring 2010, a combined OA East and OA South team worked on a commission to provide 18 display boards for the newly-restored surviving buildings – primarily the west range and inner gatehouse – of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Langley on the Norfolk Broads.
A booklet / guide has also been published (S25).
D. Gurney (HES), 8 October 2012.

Monument Types

  • CAUSEWAY (Unknown date)
  • POND (Unknown date)
  • ABBEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BOUNDARY MARKER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MONASTIC PRECINCT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Scheduled Monument
  • Listed Building
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Article in serial: Ellison Erwood, F. C. 1923. The Premonstratensian Abbey of Langley, Co. Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXI pp 175-234.
---Serial: 1948. The Icenian.. No 113, pp 6-7 plan.
---Article in serial: 1926. Archaeologia. Vol 75.
---Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1809. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Vol X. 375.
---Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS 70-173-160.
---Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
---Scheduling record: English Heritage. Scheduling Report.
---Newspaper Article: 1984. Eastern Daily Press. 7 April.
---Newspaper Article: 1987. Eastern Daily Press. 24 January.
---Publication: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. pp 184, 190.
---Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1997. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1996. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt IV pp 547-564. p 554.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Breathing new life into an ancient abbey.. 3 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Abbey's owner look back on successful first season.. 1 September.
---Leaflet: Langley Abbey: discover the Norfolk Broads magnificent 12th century monastery and farming estate..
---Photograph: 1986. Photographic record of Langley Abbey. Print.
---Photograph: Photographic record of Langley Abbey. Print.
---Photograph: Photographic record of Langley Abbey. Print.
---Photograph: Photographic record of Langley Abbey. Print.
---Unpublished document: Clarke, G. et al. 2010. Oxford Archaeology East Report No. 1149 Archaeological Monitoring at Langley Abbey Norfolk.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Langley [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Rolled Plan: Large Plan Exists.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Monograph: 1901. The Victoria History of Norfolk. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 1.
<S2>Monograph: Pevsner, N & Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South (2nd Ediiton). The Buildings of England.
<S3>Scheduling record: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
<S4>Unpublished document: Rogerson, A.. 1994. Langley Abbey. Site Visit.. 15 June.
<S5>Unpublished document: Cushion, B. (NLA). Earthwork Survey.
<S6>Unpublished document: Rose, E.. 2001. Langley Abbey Farmhouse. A note on the fireplaces. 18 October.
<S7>Unpublished document: Williamson, T.. 2002. Report for Broads Authority.
<S8>Scheduling record: DCMS. 2005. Scheduled Monument Consent.
<S9>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A.. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 104. p 143.
<S10>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1978. NHER TG 3602A-B (NLA 66/AMD11-2) 12-JUL-1978.
<S11>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 3602J-M (NLA 50/AKA9-12) 28-JUL-1977.
<S12>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 3602P (NLA 44/AHU17) 06-JUL-1977.
<S13>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 3602S-T (NLA 56/ALC21-2) 02-AUG-1977.
<S14>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1981. NHER TG 3602V-AA (NLA 117/ARK12-7) 17-AUG-1981.
<S15>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 3602AD-AE (NLA 101/AQL11-2) 07-AUG-1980.
<S16>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 3602AG-AJ (NLA 84/ANX13-5) 16-JUN-1980.
<S17>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (AAF). 1979. NHER TG 3602 AL-AM (AAF 198/23-4) 27-JUL-1979.
<S18>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1983. NHER TG 3602AN-AT (NLA 137/ATP18-23) 29-JUL-1983.
<S19>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1983. NHER TG 3602AU-AW (NLA 135/ATC10-2) 21-JUL-1983.
<S20>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1990. NHER TG 3602ABW-ABX (NLA 271/GCX9-10) 12-JUL-1990.
<S21>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 3602ACD-ACF (NLA 368/JCL10-2) 08-JUL-1996.
<S22>Website: Davis, P.. http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/Index/Locindex.html.
<S23>Scheduling record: DCMS. 2009. Scheduled Monument Consent.
<S24>Article in serial: Gurney, D & Hoggett, R.. 2010. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2009. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI, pt I, pp 135-147. p 141.
<S25>Publication: Mutton, B.. n.d.. Langley Abbey.

Related records

MNO2478Related to: Former Stable Block to Langley Abbey Langley Green LANGLEY WITH HARDLEY (Revoked)
MNO2490Related to: Langley Abbey Remains Langley Green LANGLEY WITH HARDLEY (Revoked)

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