Optimized-St Catherine'sLYDIATE ABBEY

(St Catherine’s Chapel)


St Catherine’s Chapel, Lydiate.

The chapel of St Catherine’s is situated 250 meters south of the ruins of Lydiate Hall. The remains of the belfry on the west tower suggest that, although this is a domestic chapel (and not an abbey), built by the lords of the manor of Lydiate for their use, it probably also served the people of Lydiate during those periods of English history when it was safe to worship according to the rites of the Roman church.

The chapel has a north door, a south porch, a west tower and an east window, though no west door. It was in the south porch that the initials of Laurence Ireland and his wife Catherine were visible, along with the arms of the Ireland family.

The south wall had four large windows with elaborate tracery, taking up much of the wall. The mullions of these windows appear to have sustained violent damage, rather than just age damage, and it is likely that this happened either during the Dissolution of the Monasteries or during the English Civil war. Large amounts of glass fragments were found below the windows, some of which were stained or painted.

The altar would have stood at the east end of the chapel; dark stains were discovered at this position where sacred vessels would have been cleaned for Mass. The darks stains would have been wine.

Mason’s marks identifying the work of an individual have been found in the chapel stone work. ©PBRussell/2011

Grade II* Listed

This 15th century domestic chapel is part of our heritage, please help us to maintain this peaceful and picturesque site for now and the future.


Over the past decade St Catherine’s Chapel (Lydiate Abbey) has deteriorated, trees growing out of the mortar, and loose and missing stone work. If action is not taken soon, we will lose this precious part of Lydiate’s heritage.

We have formed a group to put pressure on those responsible for the Chapel, to take action to help save and preserve our heritage.

Aims and Objectives

1. Name ‘Friends of The Abbey (St Catherine’s Chapel).
2. To ensure the conservation and maintenance of the Chapel grounds and building by those bodies responsible for the upkeep.
3. To encourage and support suitable events, eg, Annual Service, Ecumenical Services at Easter, Outdoor Shakespeare, Recitals, Village Picnic, Plays, Carol Concerts, Last Night at The Proms.
4. To provide history talks, guided walks and presentations to schools, uniform organisations, other groups.
5. To encourage visitors, consider web page and/ or attach to Parish Council or Our Lady’s web pages.
6. To organise fund raising events.

Friends Activities

1. Regular news letters by e mail, with visits to the Chapel.

2. Membership of ‘FRIENDS OF THE ABBEY’ is by annual subscription of £5.
3. Fund raising, to help fund events at The Chapel, this would include Quiz Nights, Hot Pot Suppers, Bingo/ Whist and Beetle Drives.
4. Encourage more ‘FRIENDS OF THE ABBEY’
5. Learn the history of the Chapel and Lydiate Hall

If you would like to become a ‘FRIEND OF THE ABBEY’ contact: giving your name and email address.
Regular newsletters will be sent by email updating ‘friends’ on fund raising activities, and bids for heritage lottery funding.

To date we have been successful in obtaining a grant from Heritage Lottery to carry out a condition survey of the chapel. The survey has now been completed. We are now in the process of bidding for grants to carry out the identified work, and to improve the surrounding area.


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