Haughmond (also known as Haughmond Abbey, Haughmond Hill)5796

Uffington, England

Brief Description

A park, with medieval origins, sits above the remains of Haughmond Abbey. On top of the hill is Haughmond Castle, an 18th-century folly.

History

The abbey had owned a park on the hill since 1297. The abbey was dissolved in 1539, but the park survived. In the 18th century, the folly of Haughmond Castle was built.

Detailed Description

Haughmond Hill, covered by a mixture of coniferous and deciduous woodland, forms a forest park for the use of the people of Shrewsbury. Deer are known to live in the woods. Facilities include guided walks, paths, car-parking, and picnic areas. The hill is also being actively quarried for aggregate.

On the top of the hill is Haughmond Castle, a folly dating back to the 18th century, while the assoicated landscape incorporates medieval, post-medieval, and prehistoric features. The nearby Iron Age hillfort at Ebury Hill is of particular note in the latter respect.

At neaby Haughmond Abbey, one can see the remains of the Augustinian House that owned the Haughmond estate for much of the medieval period. Remains include the abbots' quarters, refectory and cloister. The frontage of the chapter house is notable for its 12th- and 14th-century statuary and other carving, and the same building also features a timber roof dating back to around AD 1500.

In addition, several buildings, including two potential gatehouses, survive as earthworks, while the abbey church's cruciform groundplan is still identifiable. A number of landcape features of probable medieval date also survive, and water features include a reservoir and three possible fishponds. Little remains on the western side of the site. The abbey precinct is enclosed to the south and west by a wall of undressed stone.

Features
  • Abbey (featured building)
  • Description: Augustinian Abbey.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Folly
  • Description: Known as 'Haughmond Castle'.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Uffington
History

Detailed History

The origins and development of the park at Haughmond are inextricably bound up with that of Haughmond Abbey. The abbey has its origins in the late 11th century, from when we have evidence of a relatively small community. From the second quarter of the 12th century, William of Aubigny, first Earl of Arundel became patron of the House, and in 1135 he founded an Augustinian priory in the name of St John the Evangelist. In 1155, the house's status was upgraded to that of abbey.

By the late 12th century, the community was clearly thriving, and it continued to do so for much of the Middle Ages. When the abbey was finally dissolved in 1539, its income was estimated at £250 per year. The Abbot and ten of his canons were each given generous pensions.

The first recorded private owner of the abbey estate is Sir Edward Littleton, and he converted the Abbot's Hall and adjoining rooms into a private residence. It also appears that several of the cloister buildings continued to function as accommodation, while the cloister itself found use as a formal garden, and was enjoyed as such until the Civil Wars of the seventeenth century.

At this time, a fire seriously damaged the site, and the estate was sold on, its land being exploited for agriculture. The Office of Works took over guardianship of the site in 1933, at which time a small cottage stood on the site of the old Abbott's Kitchen.

There had been a park on the hill above the abbey since 1297, when the abbot had licence to enclose 20 acres of his wood, licence for an additional 60 acres being granted in 1313.

Haughmond Hill is traditionally associated with the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403, Wars of the Roses), though the legitimacy of such claims is far from established. Queen Eleanor, the wife of Henry IV, supposedly observed the battle from an enclosure on the hill, while the hill also plays a part in the story of the flight from battle of the Earl of Douglas. Shakespeare, in Henry IV (Part I), refers to a hill that might also be Haughmond.

Whatever events too place within its grounds, we know that the park survived the Dissolution, and in the later 16th and 17th centuries contained a house or lodge, perhaps in fact Haughmond Abbey itself, which certainly by 1695 was encompassed within the pale.In 1752 the park was apparently known as Upton park.

A folly known as Haughmond Castle was built on the hill in the 18th Century, perhaps for John Corbet of Sundorne, and by Robert Mylne, who carried out alterations at Sundorne in 1774.

Period

  • Medieval
Contact

Telephone

01793 414700

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • The Forestry Commission

    Forestry Commission England, Great Eastern House, Tenison Road, Cambridge, CB1 2DU
References

References