Author: Steve Parrinder. Paperback; 175x245mm; 300pp; 298 illustrations. 554 2019. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789692501. Epublication ISBN 9781789692518. |
The Lost Abbey of Eynsham will be of interest not just to local historians but to those with an interest in the development of monasticism and medieval art and architecture, particularly the Romanesque. Eynsham was one of the few religious foundations in England in continuous use from the late Saxon period to the Dissolution. Its first Benedictine Abbot was the internationally renowned scholar and teacher, Aelfric, and it was frequently visited by medieval kings given its close proximity to the royal hunting lodge of Woodstock. Hugh of Avalon, later canonised, was appointed Bishop of Lincoln at a royal council at Eynsham in 1186. Shortly afterwards the abbey achieved fame with the Vision of the Monk of Eynsham which is said to have influenced Dante. Its reputation was further enhanced when Eynsham acquired an important relic, the arm of St Andrew in 1240. In the later Middle Ages, the abbey went into decline and was beset by scandal. It surrendered to the Crown in 1538 and the huge structure was gradually demolished and pillaged for its building materials. Now, nothing remains in situ above ground. This book aims to rescue this important abbey from obscurity by summarising its history and examining the material remains of Eynsham Abbey, most of which have never been published before.
About the Author
Steve Parrinder read History at Kings College London before securing a PGCE and becoming a teacher in 1970. For 30 years he was at Richmond-upon-Thames College where he taught History and Archaeology and ended his professional career in 2007 as Programme Manager for Humanities. His MA in Medieval Studies was taken at Birkbeck College, London, in 1982 and his dissertation (unpublished) was on Romanesque Sculpture from Reading Abbey. He moved to Eynsham, Oxfordshire, at the end of 2012 where he is now an active member of the Eynsham History Group and has written a number of articles for the Eynsham Record. He is married with two daughters and three grandchildren.
'This is a rather special book, and no mistake. Without ever losing sight of the core thread of the physical evidence, [the author has] managed to bring the whole story of the abbey to life, and make it so readable into the bargain. I particularly like the new material on the Post-Dissolution period.'—Alan Hardy, archaeologist, December 2019
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