Burford Priory

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Burford Priory

Burford Priory is a Grade I listed country house and former priory at Burford in West Oxfordshire, England.[1]


The house is on the site of a 13th-century Augustinian hospital. In the 1580s an Elizabethan house was built by Sir Lawrence Tanfield, incorporating remnants of the Priory Hospital.[2] James I stayed at the priory for three nights in 1603.[3] In the 17th century it was remodelled in Jacobean style, probably after 1634 when William Lenthall bought the estate from Tanfield's grandson, the 2nd Viscount Falkland, who had inherited it from his grandfather.[4] Lenthall was one of the overseers of Tanfield's will and had married into his second wife's family.[5] It remained in the Lenthall family until 1828.[6] The Lenthall pictures were housed here until the collection was largely sold in the nineteenth century.

The house and later the chapel were restored for the philanthropist Emslie John Horniman, M.P., after 1912 under the supervision of the architect Walter Godfrey.[2][7]

Usage by Church of England nuns and monks[edit]

From 1949 Burford Priory housed The Society of the Salutation of Our Lady, a community of Church of England nuns. In the 1980s the community's numbers dwindled so in 1987 it became a mixed community including Church of England Benedictine monks. In 2008 the community sold the property and it has now returned to being a private house.[8] After a period of living in rented accommodation, the community moved into a new purpose built monastery in Worcestershire. The new monastery is on the site of a former farm and has taken the name of the farm becoming Mucknell Abbey.

Current ownership[edit]

The current owners and residents of Burford Priory are media businesswoman Elisabeth Murdoch, her husband Matthew Freud, owner of the public relations company Freud Communications, and their family.[9]

A 2011 party held at the house was attended by the Chipping Norton set. [10]


  1. ^ "Burford Priory". English Heritage list. English Heritage. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, pp. 510–511.
  3. ^ VCH Explore
  4. ^ The Life and Times of Lucius Cary
  5. ^ History of Parliament
  6. ^ VCH Explore
  7. ^ Godfrey 1939, p. 71.
  8. ^ "Monks on the Move". Oxford Mail (Newsquest). 27 May 2008. 
  9. ^ "£40,000 Raid on Burford Priory". Oxford Mail (Newsquest). 26 March 2009. 
  10. ^ Caroline Dewar (2012-03-05). "Who's who in the Chipping Norton set". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°48′34″N 1°38′20″W / 51.809318°N 1.638905°W / 51.809318; -1.638905 (Burford Priory)