HOUSES OF BENEDICTINE MONKS
2. THE MONASTERY OF IKANHO
Amongst the Lincolnshire monasteries which
are known to history the most ancient seems to
have been the one which was built by St. Botolph
at Ikanho, probably somewhere near the town of
Boston. The English Chronicle dates the
foundation in the year 654. (fn. 1) This house was
not modelled, like most of the northern monasteries of the time, on the pattern of Iona;
St. Botolph's travels in Gaul, before he adopted
the regular life, had given him an acquaintance
with other rules. It is said that when he returned to Lincolnshire, he asked the sub-king
Ethelmund, whose sisters he had met in Gaul,
to give him a piece of waste land on which to
build a monastery; and the place at Ikanho was
chosen simply because it was as yet unoccupied. (fn. 2)
The rule which St. Botolph gave to his monks
was an eclectic one, gathered from sources old
and new; but it was apparently well kept, and
when Ceolfred, the friend of Benedict Biscop,
and afterwards abbot of Wearmouth, was visiting
several of the English monasteries about 670, he
was much edified by the learning and piety of
the brethren at Ikanho. (fn. 3)
The monastery continued probably until the
devastation of this part of the country by the
Danes, near the end of the ninth century. It
was never rebuilt.
Ang.-Sax. Chron. (Rolls Ser.), i, 50-1.
||Bright, Early Engl. Church Hist. 179.
||Anon. Hist. of Abbots of Jarrow, in Baedae
Opera Hist. (ed. Plummer), i, 389, and cf. ii, 372.