©R.J.PENHEY2002 - 2006

http:// boar.org.uk/obiwxs5AbbeyLawn.htm                  Latest edit 21 Nov 2007



The Abbey Lawn

in Bourne, Lincolnshire


The Abbey Lawn is an enclosed green space in Bourne, Lincolnshire.



It takes its name from its having been a sheep lawn attached to a residence which is now referred to as 'Abbey House' but which, while it existed, was known as 'The Abbey' or 'Bourne Abbey'. The house was built in 1764 by George Pochin who was lord of the manor of Bourne Abbots. By the eighteenth century, this was a secular entity but was essentially, the property in Bourne, which had been owned by the monastic house, Bourne Abbey until it was dissolved in 1536 as a result of Henry VIII's policy. The house was built on the site of the buildings where the canons had lived while the bulk of the Abbey Church continued in use as the parish church, as it always had been.


There was in England, a hierarchy of game parks attached to big houses. For example, a Duke might have a red deer park, or an earl, a fallow deer park. In the neighbouring parish of Edenham, at Grimsthorpe there was one of each, developed as the owners gained promotion. Mr. Pochin had to make do with a sheep lawn.


The Abbey Lawn was one of the sites in which the townspeople’s celebrations marking George V’s coronation were conducted in 1911. After the First World War, it was progressively developed for recreation in the three areas of swimming, football and cricket. In the atmosphere of 1920, where the hope was that a “land fit for heroes to live in” might be created, the remaining fish pond of the mediaeval abbey was developed into a swimming pool. This development as a sports ground was done with the help and coordination of the Bourne United Charities which by 1934, had become the owners by the progressive purchase of the several parts. The range of sports catered for extended over time, to include hockey, English flat green bowls, tennis and pétanque (southern French bowls). The Hockey club has now moved away to its own all-weather pitch.