Askeby Abbey was founded as a daughter convent of the Vreta Abbey during the second half of the 12th century. It was placed under the authority of the Alvastra Abbey: no member of the abbey was allowed to go outside the walls without a permit from the Abbot of Alvastra, not even the abbess herself, though she could receive guests in the abbey.
Askeby Abbey did not belong to the largest of the Swedish nunneries, but it was wealthy and of some importance and often benefited by important people. Placed by the important road to Söderköping, it functioned as an inn for travelers. The abbey had the income from one third of the crown taxed fishing in Norrköping. The abbess of the abbey also had the right to appoint the priest of the Sankt Olai church in Norrköping, which often caused conflicts with that city. In 1462, the Abbess Anna Jacobi and the nuns were given an official thanks from the Pope after their assistance to his envoy Martinus de Fregano, who had visited Sweden to gather funds for a crusade against the Ottoman Turks.
In the late 15th century the discipline was lax; the abbess received guests in her personal chambers, and in 1490 the nuns were threatened with interdict for socializing with the outside world. After the Swedish Reformation of 1527, the valuables of the abbey were confiscated and taken to the royal treasury, and the management of the abbey was given to the abbess of Vreta Abbey. In 1529, all remaining members of the abbey were relocated to Vreta Abbey and the Askeby Abbey was thereby dissolved. The buildings burnt down eight years later.
The remains of the abbey are gone, but the church, Askeby kyrka, still remains as the Askeby parish church, where a memorial stone is erected to the memory of Askeby Abbey.
- Kjell O. Lejon, Askeby kloster - om klostertid och klosterliv. Diocesis Lincopensis III. (Linköpings stiftshistoriska sällskaps skriftserie 3.) Skellefteå 2008.