In search of the Premonstratensians

This was not particularly planned. At the last minute I decided to take the train to Walmer and then, should the day work along with me, I would try and find the remains of Langdon Abbey. It felt a great luxury to be able to do something that felt so spontaneous after months of lock-down.

Yew tree in the church yard of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Walmer.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Walmer. The church dates from 1120
Norman doorway and porch
Doorway detail

The ruin of the manor house, next to the church. It is a substantial ruin.

On the edge of Walmer, an intriguing block of housing that needs more investigation. Round the corner yet another housing development that will do much to increase the profits of the volume house builders and do little to address the ‘housing crisis’.

Cornwall currently has over 10,000 airbnb listings, but less than 100 properties for rent. Renters as being forced out of their accommodation by airbnb and second home owners. This is also happening along the Kent coast.

Smock mill near Ringwould

St Nicholas at Ringwould. There are two yew trees in the churchyard which are estimated to be 1300 years and 1000 years old. The church tower is unusual for east Kent. It is red brick and was built in 1628.

Crosses carved into the stone by the south door at St Nicholas. Note the cross inside a circle in the bottom left hand corner
The church of St Peter and St Paul at Sutton

St Peter and St Paul, Sutton-by-Dover. Apparently the bell needs tuning according to a man who was doing some gardening.

Buttercups, cow parsley and hawthorn. The hedges in this area are huge, thick, impenetrable barriers. There is a history there too which is worth exploring. A girl who was looking after the horses showed me how to safely cross through an electric fence.

This was as close as I got to the remains, ruins or simply the site of the Langdon Abbey, or, as it was known, ‘Blessed Virgin and St Thomas of Canterbury’. It was founded in 1192 by William de Auberville. But that field has a distinctly medieval look and feel. A place where watercress might once have grown. The building is Langdon Abbey Farm and some of the abbey buildings are apparently incorporated into it. I need to do some further investigation.

There is a useful description and history of the abbey here.

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