G Denny Builders – Grimsby: Historic Local Buildings – Thornton Abbey
Thornton Abbey was a medieval abbey located close to the village of Thornton Curtis in North Lincolnshire.
It was originally founded as priory in 1139 and then raised to the higher status of Abbey in 1148.
The abbey was closed in 1539 by King Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of the monasteries. Thornton was a wealthy and distinguished house and was valued at the time of the dissolution for the great sum of £591 0s 2 ¾ d.
Although there is nothing left above ground of the original 12th century founding abbey building, a few remains still do exist of the later abbey from the 13th/14th centuries mainly three walls of the chapter house and part of the cloister.
Different architecture has been used through the ages on the abbey from the popular Romanesque style of medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches to the Gothic style which flourished in the early medieval period.
The gatehouse is amongst the earliest largescale uses of brick in England. It stands two storeys high and is structurally intact. Notably there are few windows in the building and due to the depth of the walls the interior dimensions are quite restricted.
The outside of the building is decorated with three almost lifesize statues directly above the gate. A bridge over the moat adjoins the gatehouse and is fortified with walls and guardrobes.
The nearby Abbot’s Lodge is a grade I listed building.
The site is currently in the care of English Heritage and and is open to the public and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.