If you visit Abbey Fields in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, among the various things to do you might miss an important historical site. These are the ruins of the Augustinian Abbey of St Mary the Virgin. While St Nicholas Church and its graveyard are obvious, the ruins of this priory are very easy to miss. But if you look you will find information such as this was a Priory for Augustinian canons built in 1119 by Geoffrey de Clinton. It was the richest priory in Warwickshire and in 1447 Pope raised its status to an Abbey. Kings and Queens stayed there including Henry V and John of Gaunt. However the life of the Abbey came to a quick end as it was reduced to ruins during the reign of Henry VIII in 1538. At the time books were burnt and wooden choir stalls burnt to melt the lead from the roof. Since then it was largely left in neglect while St Nicholas Church took over the ecumenical work.
Fun Fact: The red stones used to build the Abbey were often plundered and can be seen all over Kenilworth.
Extra Fun Tip: Check out the High Street and Castle on the same trip.
See my other posts Kenilworth, Warwickshire or Kenilworth Castle.
For more info on the Abbey see here.
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