Surface Quarry

The Abbey became a surface quarry providing materials for such notable buildings as, Caius College, Kings College, and Trinity College Cambridge.

The following accounts list refer to the Architectural History of Cambridge by Professor Willis and J W Clark Esq. c 1900, as quoted in Trevor Beavis’s book “Ramsey the Golden”. They indicate that the vast bulk of Ramsey Abbey stones and other materials survive in the University buildings of Cambridge.


Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, 1564-1573

“in primus for trees brought out of Ramsey and Warboys woods. 510. £66.5s

Kings College Cambridge, 1560-61

” Item. Sol . . . pro destructione totias conventi de le freestone. Ept. apud Ramsey iiij lb iiijd.” This item refers to the repair of the Great Hall of King’s College, Cambridge, for a total of £121.13s. 0d.

Trinity College, Cambridge

The first Chapel begun in 1555 was built of material taken from Grey friars, Cambridge and Ramsey Abbey, no fewer than three-hundred-and- forty-two cart loads of stone taken from the later. The bursar supervised the destruction of the monastery and removal of the material to Cambridge:

“Paid to William Aungier for a bargain of Ramsey stone to the number of iiixx lodes at iiij the lode xiij jb.

“Item paid to William Aungier for three great buttresses in the este end of the chauncel and of the northside, vib iis xd.

“Item my breakfast and Humphrey Carter when we went to see the stone, viiijd.

” Item. To Williamson of Barnwell for casting down the three buttises, vvs.

“Item. To Clarkson of Ramsey for carriage to the waterside, vid,”

Flagstone was obtained from the monastery floor and taken to Trinity College Cambridge, in addition to the lead from the Abbey roof. The Church at Godmanchester has a fine steeple. This too was built from Ramsey Abbey stone, and the west doorway of the church is exactly as it stood at Ramsey.

In 1672 stone from what remained of the Abbey was used to build the Church tower at Ramsey. It is also said that the Gatehouse at Hinchingbrooke was taken down from Ramsey Abbey and rebuilt in it’s present position.

In Over and Godmanchester Churches are miserere stalls from Ramsey, also at Somersham more furniture from the same place.