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Thornton Abbey


Thorton Abbey was founded in the 11th century by Augustinian monks. The original abbey was rebuilt in the 12th century, and a gatehouse and moat were added in the 14th century.

The abbey was closed by Henry VIII as part of the dissolution.


The founding abbey building from the 11th century was Romanesque in style, but nothing of it remains above ground.

The second abbey from the 12th century was built in Early Gothic style. Little remains of the building, except for three walls of the chapterhouse and part of the cloister, though the groundplan of the abbey is traced out.

The main interest lies in the gatehouse which is amongst the earliest largescale uses of brick in England. It stands two storeys high and is structurally intact. There are few windows in the building, and the internal dimensions are cramped due to the thickness of the walls.

The outside of the building is adorned with three almost lifesize statues directly above the gate. A bridge over the moat adjoins the gatehouse and is fortified with walls and guardrobes.