ST GUTHLAC‘S CROSS

Position: Queen‘s Bank Crossroads, 2 /‘2 miles south of Cowbit

Map Ref: TF 260/149 –

Access: Via the A1073 Spalding-Crowland road. The Cross stands on a slightly elevated south-west angle of the crossroads.

Guthlac was a nobleman’s son, who after serving under King Ethelred of Mercia, turned to religion, entering Repton Abbey, Derbyshire. He later founded a Benedictine hermitage amongst the swamps and solitude of Crowland, which in turn became the basis of the first Abbey, built just after his death in AD 714.

The stone, inscribed HANC PETRA GUTHLAC, is thought to be one of a number of boundary crosses set up to mark the Abbey’s sphere of influence in medieval times. An occasional assertion of territorial rights by the abbot was felt to be necessary, as disputes with other foundations like Peterborough Abbey and Spalding Priory were not unknown.

A sculptured quatrefoil over the west door of the ruined nave of Crowland Abbey illustrates the life of St. Guthlac.

Source: Lincolnshire Curiosties

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