FRAG members had a unique opportunity to explore the site of the lost Cistercian Abbey near Sawtry.

The photo above shows the nave of the abbey church with FRAG members taking the place of the long robbed out columns!

Though never as extensive as abbeys such as Fountains, Sawtry followed the same basic layout as others across the country. It was visited by kings, and in 1536 Catherine of Aragon’s body rested there when her funeral cortege broke its journey from Kimbolton Castle to Peterborough.

Whilst no walls remain the bumps and ditches across the site still mark the outlines of the church, cloister garth, latrines, guest house, fish ponds and other features.

Our expert guides were Phil Hill and Kev Redgate. As well as being FRAG committee members they have (through Sawtry History Society) been undertaking research into the abbey, including a resistivity survey.

The site is a farm field with a particularly lively herd of cattle. Exploring the full extent of the abbey remains was not for the faint-hearted!

Sawtry Abbey - Altar