The monastery between the 15th and 16th centuries
One of the important documents regarding the last stages of the monastery’s life is the 1576 Apostolic Visit. It stated that the nuns remained there until 1416, as well as that by then the residential buildings were in a dilapidated condition, unlike the church that was in a good state.
However, archaeological investigations have revealed a definitive monastic presence throughout the 15th century, as proven by the typical pottery of convent sites. A seemingly more likely piece of information, therefore, is the one provided by the 1428 Building Registry, according to which, at least in that period, the abbey was the residence of some friars with their domestic servants. We do not know how long this cross-gender replacement lasted but, based on collected data, we can reasonably assume the conclusive disappearance of any religious community at the Abbey by the early part of the sixteenth century.
The Badia area in the modern age
In modern times, the S. Maria (St. Mary) church continued to be officiated for religious festivities, such as those for Maria Assunta on 15 August and for Saint Perpetua, which the old church later associated with the monastery was named after, on 7 March. Due to this, in eighteenth-century cartography the abbey was still essentially represented by its church, which stood until the end of the century, albeit in a state of progressive decay. The final blow came from the 1846 earthquake with its epicentre in Orciano Pisano, which brought about its conclusive destruction, as its stones were recovered for the reconstruction of the damaged houses of the town. Thenceforth, only the name of the place preserved the memory of the monastery.
The well and agricultural uses in the eighteenth century
Although no one was living in the monastery anymore, archaeological excavations have shown that between the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the well in the middle of the cloister had continued to be used for the procurement of water on the part of those who cultivated the fields around the Badia. In addition to the remains of a wooden tub, mugs, glazed earthenware vessels and ceramic pots, which had to be used with a rope to draw water, were found at the bottom of the well.
Alongside them, there are also objects used during breaks from agricultural work, such as dishes for meals and pipe burners. Lastly, objects recovered during excavations included many peach stones, grains and grape seed remains, which confirm the promiscuous cultivation of wheat and vines in the area, from the late modern age almost until current times.
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