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 GodStow Abbey

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PostSubject: GodStow Abbey   Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:07 pm


Godstow Abbey also known as Godstow Nunnery.

Godstow abbey was built on what was then an island between streams
running into the River Thames. The site was given to the foundress
Edith, widow of Sir William Launceline in 1133 by John of St. John and built in local limestone in honour of St Mary and St John the Baptist for nuns of the Benedictine Order; with a further gift of land from him, the site was later enlarged. The church was consecrated in 1139.
The abbey was again enlarged between 1176 and 1188 when Henry II gave the establishment:

  • 258 - which included 100 for the church,
  • 40,000 shingles,
  • 4,000 laths, and
  • Much timber.

This endowment is no doubt due to the site being the burial place of his mistress Rosamund Clifford.
The abbey was suppressed in 1539 under the Second Act of Dissolution.
The Abbey precincts were entered from the Wolvercote-Wytham road,
which ran through the outer court. Here there was a two-storey main
gatehouse which had one large gate for carts and a second smaller one
beside it for foot traffic.
The site consisted of:

  • An outer court containing a range of buildings.
  • St. Thomas's chapel which appears to have been used a church by the Abbey's servants
  • Lodging for a priest.
  • A guest house.
  • A Nunnery.
  • The Abbey church which contained cloisters along with associated buildings

George Price Boyce, the Victorian watercolour painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelite art movement, visited and painted the nunnery in 1862.

Rosamund Clifford: the "Fair Rosamund"



The abbey became the final burial place of the famed beauty Rosamund Clifford (died circa 1176), a long-term mistress of Henry II.
Henry's liaison with Rosamund became public knowledge in 1174; it ended
when she retired to the nunnery at Godstow in 1176, shortly before her
death.
Henry and the Clifford family paid for her tomb at Godstow in the
choir of the convent's church and an endowment for it to be tended by
the nuns. It became a popular local shrine until 1191, two years after
Henry's death. Hugh of Lincoln, Bishop of Lincoln,
while visiting Godstow, noticed Rosamund's tomb right in front of the
high altar. The tomb was laden with flowers and candles, demonstrating
that the local people were still praying there. Calling Rosamund a harlot, the bishop ordered her remains removed from the church. This was part of the long-term campaign by the Roman Catholic Church to eradicate earlier Norse and Anglo-Saxon
traditions of marriage amongst the nobility. Her tomb was moved outside
of the abbey church itself to the cemetery at the nuns' chapter house
next to it, where it could still be visited until it was destroyed in
the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII of England.

The Abbey after the dissolution


The abbey was converted into Godstow House by George Owen. It was occupied by his family until 1645, when the building was badly damaged in the Civil War. After this damage, the building fell into disrepair and was used by the locals as a source of stone for their buildings.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the ruined abbey was used for
collecting livestock during the annual rounding up of animals on Port
Meadow.
In Victorian times, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) brought Alice Liddell (aka Alice in Wonderland) and her sisters, Edith and Lorina, for river trips and picnics at Godstow.

Probably
the most tragic tale of an Oxford ghost is that of Rosamund the
Fair
. King Henry II was deeply in love with the Nun who lived
in Godstow Nunnery, which lies on the opposite bank of Trout Island.
It was built in 1133, and was consecrated in 1179 by the Archbishop
of Canterbury in the presence of King Henry II.

It
is said that the King kept his concubine in a secret garden that
was protected by a labyrinth and guarded by one of his knights.
The knight held the end of a silver thread which lead to Rosamund.
The Queen was very jealous and killed the knight, stole the thread
and when she caught up with Rosamund killed her by making her drink
from a poisoned chalice.

Now
Rosamund haunts the Abbey. She is often seen as a
shadowy figure sneaking around in the Abbey looking for her lost love Henry 11.

The Abbey is open to the public and this one is a free site for G.P.S to do
only prob its outside to good weather is a must.
The pic are the ones i took as i visted the site sunday as i live about 20 mins from this place if anyone would like to see more pics of the location i can email them to you there are a few more places like this im now looking into in and about bucks and oxon for G.P.S. to do and there all free ones for us to vist i will post other sites that a none or are ment tobe haunted



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PostSubject: A poss!!   Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:16 pm

Hay sounds interesting, wonder how strong the energy is there spirit wise??

Good research, my god you found alot of info... nice one Rolling Eyes

Is very simiular to our last investigation actually, same setting and stuff !
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