History of the Leg of Mutton

Cathedral from the Eastern end of the Leg of Mutton

lomSometime in the 13th Century vineyards were planted on the slopes facing the Abbey. Along with other areas surrounding the abbey, the wine pressed from the grapes  from the vineyards was all part of what was needed to supply the monks and workers in the Abbey. Sometime around 1500 a chill in Northern Europe caused all the English vineyards to be closed down. Vinefields farm comprising the vineyards and the Leg of Mutton has then for 500 years been farmed as arable land. The abbey was one of the greatest in England and through its vineyards,fishponds and agricultural land supported a taleneted and creative religious community. First among these was Master Hugo, the creator of the Bury Bible and acknowledged as the first and greatest of English Romanesque craftsmen.The County archaeological Service states:-

“This very large area has not been the subject of systematic archaeological investigation. There is high potential for important archaeological remains to be defined at this location, given the proximity to known remains and the landscape setting (valley-side location), and also the large size of the proposed area. We would object to extensive landscaping and/or the construction of a hotel at this location on historic landscape grounds. “