Monk bowing

St Ivo and Ramsey Abbey

Monk Gardening

The wealthy landowner died in 986 and left his land holding at St. Ives to the Abbey at Ramsey. The Abbot must have been quite grateful because this represented the largest individual portion of their estate. Records indicate that the Abbey was not doing to well at the time and needed the money that this endowment would provide. Although the ownership of the land had changed hands to the Abbey, in who's care it would remain for the next 500 years, life for the locals stayed pretty much the same. Fishing and the river, hunting in the forest and ploughing in the fields. Until one day the next event in the town's history occurred as one of the ploughs uncovered a stone coffin. Hardly surprising really as the Romans had occupied the area centuries earlier and had developed a large settlement at Godmanchester. The Romans frequently buried their dead in stone coffins and were known not to be to fussy about how deep they were. However that aside, the locals knew nothing about all that except that to afford a stone coffin must mean that who ever is buried in it must have been quite important.

After a number of apparitions, the appearance of ghostly figures, the plough-man told the bailiff, the bailiff told the abbot, the abbot soon came to see. He quickly decided that this must be the body of the Persian Bishop, St Ivo, and arrangements were hastily made for the body of the bishop to be re-buried in Ramsey Abbey. It was just the thing the Abbey needed, peasants from all over the country would flock to see the new saint and of course make offerings to the abbey as well.


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