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Egglestone Abbey, North Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Egglestone Abbey, a township in Startforth parish, N.R. Yorkshire, on the verge of the county, and on the river Tees, 1½ mile SE of Barnard Castle station on the N.E.R. Acreage, 648; population, 60. On a gentle eminence, near the influx of " the fairy Thorsgill" to the Tees, stand the picturesque ruins of a Premonstratensian abbey, which was founded about the end of the 12th century, and dedicated to St Mary and St John the Baptist. The domestic buildings have been converted into a mill and farmhouse, but the church has been allowed to fall into ruin almost undisturbed. It was chiefly Early English, and was a beautiful cruciform building. The chief remains are the greater part of the walls of the nave and choir, and until 1889 the walls of the north transept. Some efforts have since been made to arrest the progress of decay. Sir Walter Scott makes it the closing scene of his " Rokeby," and says-" The reverend pile lay wild and waste, Profaned, dishonour'd, and defaced; Through storied lattices no more In softened light the sunbeams pour, Gilding the Gothic sculpture, rich Of shrine, and monument, and niche. The civil fury of the time Made sport of sacrilegious crime; For dark fanaticism rent Altar and screen and ornament, And peasant hands the tombs o'erthrew Of Bowes, of Eokeby, and Fitz-Hugh."

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyYorkshire 
Civil parishRokeby 
Poor Law unionTeesdale 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Egglestone Abbey from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for the North Riding of Yorkshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following North Riding newspapers online: