Cluniac foundations in State Guardianship

Crossraguel Abbey
Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

The Cluniac order was derived from the abbey at Cluny. The order was introduced to England at the priory of Lewes by William de Warenne, the first Earl of Surrey, and his wife Gundrada.

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1965

Wenlock Priory, Shropshire. [EH] The Cluniac foundation was made from St Mary of La Charité that had been refounded in 1059; Wenlock’s foundation by Roger Earl of Shrewsbury was likely to have been between 1080 and 1082. The priory was on the site of a late 7th century Anglo-Saxon nunnery.

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

Castle Acre Priory, Norfolk. [EH] The priory is likely to have been founded by William de Warenne, the second early of Surrey, probably after his father’s death in 1088.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

Thetford Priory, Norfolk. [EH] The priory was founded in 1103/4 by Roger Bigod. The monks came from the priory at Lewes.

Monk Bretton Priory, Yorkshire. [EH] The priory was founded in 1154 from Pontefract.

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Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

Crossraguel Abbey, Ayrshire. [HES] Crossraguel was founded as a result of an episcopal ruling in 1244. It was one of two Cluniac foundations in Scotland; the other was Paisley Abbey.

Whithorn: guidebooks

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1953 (5th impress. 1968)

C.A. Ralegh Radford and Gordon Donaldson prepared an official guidebook for Whithorn and Kirkmadrine in 1953. This covers the monastery and later priory at Whithorn; St Ninian’s Chapel at the Isle of Whithorn; St Ninian’s Cave at Glasserton; the museum at Whithorn that contains material from surrounding locations; and the Kirkmadrine stones displayed in the old church. There is a fold-out plan of the priory at Whithorn. The guide contains an extensive history of the region (pp. 3–27).

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The present History Scotland guide is by Adrian Cox with Sally Gall and Peter Yeoman. The focus is on Whithorn but there are sections on St Ninian’s Chapel and Cave, as well as a double page spread on Kirkmadrine.

Beauly Priory

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1954 (1966)

Beauly Priory in Inverness-shire was a Valliscaulian foundation of 1230, by Sir John Bisset. The paper guide was prepared by William Douglas Simpson (1896-1968) in 1954; a second edition was published in 1978. The guide contains a short history followed by a description. A plan of the church is printed on the central pages.

Simpson served as university librarian for the University of Aberdeen (1926–66). He excavated at several castles in Scotland and write several Ministry guides (including Urquhart Castle).

Hidden defences at St Helen’s Duver

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St Helen’s Duver © David Gill

The 13th century tower of old St Helen’s church stands above the beach at St Helen’s Duver on the Isle of Wight [National Trust]. It formed part of the Benedictine Priory, that was abandoned in the early 15th century. In the 18th century the tower was bricked up and served as a landmark.

Adjacent to the tower is a World War II pillbox intended to defend the entrance to Bembridge harbour [HER] [Citizan]. This was carefully disguised to look like part of the ruins.

 

Thetford Priory: Sacristry

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

The sacristry at Thetford Priory formed part of the original early 12th century building, started in 1107.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

The sacristry was originally smaller with an apse at the east end. It was expanded to the east at the beginning of the 16th century. The Chapter House lay to the south of the sacristry.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill
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Thetford Priory © David Gill

The sacristry was entered from the south end of the south transept. It was also built with access to the cloister (to the west) but this entrance was blocked.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill
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Thetford Priory © David Gill

The later sacristry was entered from the north transept. It was constructed c. 1475–1540. A small oven was placed in the south-east corner.

The sacristry contained fragments of a mid-16th century tomb that appears to have been in preparation for installation in the church. (For other tombs, see here.)

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Thetford Priory © David Gill
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Thetford Priory © David Gill

St Olave’s Priory: undercroft

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St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

The refectory undercroft at St Olave’s Priory in Norfolk is in remarkable condition. The bricked in doorway led from the undercroft to the kitchen court.

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St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

Slype at Thetford

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

The slype, or corridor, in Thetford Priory is found at the south-east corner of the cloister, and to the south of the chapter house. It linked to the infirmary.

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Slype, Thetford Priory © David Gill

See also the slype at the Cluniac foundation of Crossraguel.

Finchale Priory: Frater

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

The frater or refectory at Finchale Priory lies on the south side of the cloister. It dates to the early 14th century.

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

Access was via an arched doorway in the south-west corner of the cloister, with steps up to the frater.

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

Below the frater is a vaulted cellar.

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

Thetford Priory: Howard Tombs

IMG_1789John Howard, the First Duke of Norfolk, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 where he was commanding the part of Richard III’s army.

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Thetford Priory, likely tomb of John Howard © David Gill

His tomb appears to be located in a tomb constructed on the north side of the aisle of the church at Thetford Priory, and adjacent to the north transept. The body may have been moved to St Michael’s, Framlingham.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

The tomb of Thomas Howard (1443-1524), Second Duke of Norfolk, was placed at the east end of the original church (that had been extended). He defeated the army of James IV of Scotland at Flodden in September 1513.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

Howard died at Framlingham Castle in May 1524 and his body was buried at Thetford.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

 

Castle Acre Priory: chapter house

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The chapter house at Castle Acre priory is located on the east side of the cloister, and backs onto the south transept of the priory church. It dates to the mid-12th century. The original form had an apse on the east side, now marked out adjacent to the infirmary passage. (The Ministry of Works marked the eastern apse of the chapter house at Thetford in the same way.)

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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The chapter house was remodelled in the early 14th century, and a wall blocked off the eastern apse. Traces of the seating for the monks can be seen on the north and south walls.

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Castle Acre Priory, chapter house © David Gill
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Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

Immediately to the south of the chapter house was the doorway that led to the dorter.

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Castle Acre Priory, chapter house © David Gill