Egglestone Abbey stands on the border of Yorkshire and County Durham, 1.5 miles south-east from Barnard Castle. It was founded in 1195 for the Premonstratensian order ("white canons"). They undertook preaching and pastoral work, but followed a code of austerity similar to that of Cistercian monks. Another Premonstratensian house in the area is Easby Abbey near Richmond.
The site for the abbey was chosen because of its isolation, near proximity of a river and the supply of local stone for construction. The church was built first. It was extended and widened from the mid-13th century and although not much now remains, the scale of the completed church is impressive, with some fine and unusual carved mouldings around the pointed lancet windows still visible.
The abbey was always poor and at times had difficulty maintaining the required number of canons (twelve - from the twelve Apostles). After Henry VIII dissolved all monasteries, the land was granted to Robert Strelly in 1548, who converted some of the buildings into a private residence. Eventually, however, much of the abbey was pulled down and some of the stonework was used to pave the stable yard at the nearby Rokeby Hall in the 19th century.
Adjacent to the Abbey is a fine example of a Mediaeval pack horse bridge.
Egglestone Abbey on the Heritage Trail
Egglestone Abbey on Flickr