Soham Abbey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Soham Abbey was constructed by St Felix of Burgundy during the early part of the 7th century. It was the first Roman Christian site to be established in Cambridgeshire. It is believed that the church was of a squat, low design with a long north transept, and 4 or 5 bays long with a round tower standing nearby. St. Felix was originally buried here as well.

Description[edit]

This evidence is taken from a later woodcut that shows the abbey surrounded by monastic buildings and with a wall and moat around the complex. The moat can be traced today in a circle starting at the new vicarage and following Station Road, Gardiners Lane, Clay Street, Brook Dam Lane and Paddock Street, then back to the vicarage.

Vikings destroyed the abbey in a raid in 869 and it was never rebuilt. The modern church (dedicated to St Andrew not to Felix) is believed to have been built on the same site as the abbey, but there is no fabric left from that time. The earliest part of the current church is the crossing (which cannot be seen from the outside) dating from the twelfth century and having a border of heavily indented zigzags. The rest of the building dates from the 14th century, while the tower is from the 16th century and replaced a fallen crossing tower.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 52°20′01″N 0°20′13″E / 52.3335°N 0.3369°E / 52.3335; 0.3369