Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 18 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Daudi Okelo and Bl. Jildo Irwa
home iconTravel
line break icon

The haunting ruins of England’s great Catholic buildings


JohnArmagh | CC BY SA 3.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 08/29/18

The skeletal remains of these sacred edifices recall a distant past

When Henry VIII, thwarted in his desire to have his marriage to his first wife annulled, cut off ties to Rome, declaring himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England, his first order of business was to order the dissolution of England’s convents and monasteries.

Between 1536 and 1540, he shut down over 800 monasteries, abbeys and convents, reaping their great accumulated wealth, and effectively neutralizing any political opposition that might have come from the 10,000 displaced religious and their followers.

While some of these sacred buildings were sold off to private owners, others were taken over by England’s new state church. Many others were destroyed or left to ruin.

Here are the haunting remains of England’s Catholic past.

ArchaeologyChurch HistoryEngland

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.