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Cistercian Abbeys: SAWTRY

Name: SAWTRY Location: nr Sawtry village County: Cambridgeshire
Foundation: 1147 Mother house: Warden
Relocation: None Founder: Simon de Senlis, earl of Huntingdon
Dissolution: 1536 Prominent members:
Access: No formal public access

Sawtry abbey was founded in 1147 by Simon de Senlis (d. 1153), earl of Huntingdon and Northampton (created 1136/8), whose family descended from William the Conqueror. The abbey was the first house colonised by monks from the abbey of Warden. Sawtry never acquired any great size or prosperity. At the time of the Dissolution the abbey had a net annual income of £141 and a community of seven monks. The house was suppressed with the smaller monasteries in 1536.(1) By the early nineteenth century little of the house was left standing and the foundations of the buildings were being dug out for road stone.
Today the whole precinct is defined by earthworks, which clearly show the robbed out walls.(2) The site lies close to Abbey Farm but there is no formal public access.