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