The Abbey of St Mary, a Cistercian monastery, was founded in 1134 by Robert de Gresley. Gresley and his son, Albert, endowed the Abbey with 240 acres of land and other gifts. The Abbey was originally Savigniac and populated with monks from Furness Abbey, but was absorbed into the Cistercian order along with all the other Savigniac Houses in 1147. In 1170 the Abbot of Swineshead was reprimanded for owning villages, churches and serfs. King John spent a short time in the Abbey after losing his baggage in the fens, and just before his death in 1216. It was dissolved in 1536 with the first Act Of Suppression, its last Abbot being John Haddingham.
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