There has been a community at Crowland since Anglo-Saxon times. The abbey was first built in 716 AD. The part that is still standing is used as the parish church today.It's hard to imagine more disasters than this building has suffered. The original abbey burned and then its replacement burned as well. It was sacked by the Vikings and after that it was leveled by an earthquake. It suffered destruction when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and if that wasn't enough it was attacked
by Cromwell's forces during the English Civil War.
You can see how splended the building once was by viewing the remains and the part which is still used as a church. This comprises about one eighth of its original structure. Croyland Abbey had the first tuned bell peal in England. Currently there are six bells. The tenor bell was recast in 1430. The stone carving on the building and the stained glass windows are spectacular.
In the tower is a stone carving showing a man in robes, Master William of Wermington, the Mason. He was Master of the Works in 1427 and was responsible for the construction of much of the building. The slab itself was probably originally a grave stone.
In the center of Crowland you will see a very curious triangular stone bridge. It was built in the late 14th century and at that time spanned the rivers that flowed through the town.
When you finish seeing Crowland you might as well go just a few miles farther south across the Lincolnshire border and see Flag Fen. It would be a shame to miss it when it is so close.
In the spring and summer guided tours are available of the ongoing archeology excavations at Flag Fen Bronze Age Center.You can see artefacts found during the excavations in the museum. Replicas of Iron Age and Bronze Age houses are on display. From the south end of the Mustdyke Walkway you can view a Roman road which was probably built in the first century. Ancient breeds of sheep and pigs are on view as well as naturally occurring wild birds such as swans, geese, and ducks. There is a shop and a self-service cafe on site.
During the summer of 2007 Flag Fen will be closed on Mondays except for Bank Holidays. It is located on The Droveway, Northy Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
Crowland and Flag Fen make for a great day's outing for the whole family.