List of monastic houses in Bedfordshire

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List of monastic houses in Bedfordshire is located in Bedfordshire
Beadlow Priory
Beadlow Priory
Bushmead Priory
Bushmead Priory
BEDFORD (see below)
BEDFORD (see below)
Chicksands Priory
Chicksands Priory
Dunstable Friary
Dunstable Friary
Dunstable Priory
Dunstable Priory
Elstow Abbey
Elstow Abbey
Grovebury Priory
Grovebury Priory
Hardwick Preceptory
Hardwick Preceptory
Harrold Priory
Harrold Priory
Leighton Buzzard Cell
Leighton Buzzard Cell
Melchbourne Preceptory
Melchbourne Preceptory
Millbrook Priory
Millbrook Priory
Newnham Priory
Newnham Priory
Pulloxhill Grange
Pulloxhill Grange
Ruxox Cell
Ruxox Cell
Turvey Abbey
Turvey Abbey
Turvey Monastery
Turvey Monastery
Warden Abbey
Warden Abbey
Woburn Abbey
Woburn Abbey
Locations of monastic houses in Bedfordshire
List of monastic houses in Bedfordshire is located in Bedford, Bedfordshire
Bedford Abbey
Bedford Abbey
Greyfriars, Bedford
Greyfriars, Bedford
Bedford Priory
Bedford Priory
Caldwell Priory
Caldwell Priory
Locations of monastic houses in Bedford


The following is a list of monastic houses in Bedfordshire, England.

In this article alien houses are included, as are smaller establishments such as cells and notable monastic granges (particularly those with resident monks), and also camerae of the military orders of monks (Templars and Hospitallers). The numerous monastic hospitals per se are not included here unless at some time the foundation had, or was purported to have the status or function of an abbey, priory, friary or preceptory/commandery.

The name of the county is given where there is reference to an establishment in another county. Where the county has changed since the foundation's dissolution the modern county is given in parentheses, and in instances where the referenced foundation ceased to exist before the unification of England, the kingdom is given, followed by the modern county in parentheses.

The geographical co-ordinates provided are sourced from the details provided by English Heritage Pastscape [1] and Ordnance Survey publications.

A Monastic Glossary follows the listing, which provides links to articles on the particular monastic orders as well as other terms which appear in the listing.

Abbreviations and key[edit]

The sites listed are ruins unless indicated thus:
* indicates current monastic function
+ indicates current non-monastic ecclesiastic function (including remains incorporated into later structure)
^ indicates current non-ecclesiastic function (including remains incorporated into later structure) or redundant intact structure
$ indicates remains limited to earthworks etc.
# indicates no identifiable trace of the monastic foundation remains
~ indicates exact site of monastic foundation unknown

Locations with names in italics indicate probable duplication (misidentification with another location)
or non-existent foundations (either erroneous reference or proposed foundation never implemented)
or ecclesiastical establishments with a monastic appellation but lacking monastic connection.

Trusteeship denoted as follows:
EH English Heritage
LT Landmark Trust
NT National Trust

Alphabetical listing of establishments[edit]

Foundation Image Communities and provenance Formal name or dedication
and alternative names
On-line references and location
Beadlow Priory Benedictine monks — from Milbrook
dependent on St Albans, Hertfordshire
founded 1140/6 by Henry d'Albini;
abandoned 1435, reverted to the Crown, the buildings falling into decay thereafter
Saint Mary Magdalen
____________________
Beaulieu Priory
[1][2] & [3][4]

52°02′01″N 0°23′23″W / 52.033479°N 0.389822°W / 52.033479; -0.389822 (Beadlow Priory)
Bedford Greyfriars # Franciscan Friars Minor, Conventual (under the custody of Oxford);
founded 1238 by Mabilea de Plateshull;
dissolved c.1539; granted to John Gostwyke
Saint Francis [5][6]

52°08′20″N 0°28′29″W / 52.1388484°N 0.4748422°W / 52.1388484; -0.4748422 (Greyfriars, Bedford)
Bedford Abbey Benedictine monks
founded before 971;
ceased to exist decades before 1066 (possibly destroyed in raids by the Danes 1010);
[7]


52°07′46″N 0°28′03″W / 52.1293916°N 0.4675412°W / 52.1293916; -0.4675412 (Bedford Abbey)

Bedford Priory secular canons collegiate
founded before 1066;
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded c.1165-6 by Simon Beauchamp;
transferred to new site at Newnham c.1080;
current parish church of St Paul built on site from 14th century
[8]

52°08′08″N 0°28′03″W / 52.1354637°N 0.4675627°W / 52.1354637; -0.4675627 (Bedford Priory)
Bushmead Priory ^ Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1195 by Hugh Beauchamp;
dissolved 1536; granted to Sir William Gascoign;
refectory incorporated into mansion built on site; (EH)
The Priory Church of Saint Mary, Bushmead
____________________
Bissemede Priory
[9][10], [11]
[12][13][14]

52°14′01″N 0°22′03″W / 52.233480°N 0.367530°W / 52.233480; -0.367530 (Bushmead Priory)
Caldwell Priory # Augustinian Canons Regular — Holy Sepulchre
founded c.1154 (1153) (early in the reign of Henry II, or during that of Stephen) by Simon Basket[note 1] (Barescote?), Alderman of Bedford, or a member of the Barescote family[note 2], or between 1199 and 1216 (during the reign of John): land granted by Robert of Houghton, confirmed by Henry III, or between 1199 and 1216 (during the reign of John): land granted by Robert of Houghton, confirmed by Henry III[note 3];
Augustinian Canons Regular before c.1280;
dissolved 1536; granted to Thomas Leigh c.1562
The Priory Church of Saint John the Baptist at Caldwell
____________________
Cauldwell Priory
[15]

52°07′46″N 0°28′36″W / 52.1294575°N 0.4767251°W / 52.1294575; -0.4767251 (Caldwell Priory)
Chicksands Priory ^ Gilbertine Canons and Canonesses — double house
founded c.1150 (1147) by Pain de Beauchamp and his wife, Rose (Roese/Roais)[note 4] or c.1154[note 5];
dissolved 1538; granted to London grocer Richard Snow;
cloisters incorporated into private house;
Crown Property 1936; in grounds of Military base to 1995;
restored by MOD 1997-8
Saint Mary
____________________
Chicksand Priory
[16][17]

52°02′27″N 0°21′59″W / 52.040896°N 0.366417°W / 52.040896; -0.366417 (Chicksands Priory)
Dunstable Blackfriars # Dominican Friars (under the Visitation of Cambridge)
founded 1259 at the invitation of King Henry III and his consort;
dissolved before 8 May 1539
[18][19][20]

51°52′59″N 0°31′17″W / 51.8831074°N 0.5214858°W / 51.8831074; -0.5214858 (Dunstable Friary)
Dunstable Priory + DunstablePriory.JPG Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1131 (or before 1125?) by Henry I;
dissolved 1540; granted to Sir Leonard Chamberlayne
nave of church now in parochial use
The Priory Church of Saint Peter, Dunstable
____________________
Dunstaple Priory
[18][21][22]

51°53′10″N 0°31′04″W / 51.886026°N 0.517653°W / 51.886026; -0.517653 (Dunstable Priory)
Elstow Abbey + St Mary and Helena Parish Church, Elstow - geograph.org.uk - 823352.jpg Benedictine nuns
founded 1078 by Judith, niece of William the Conqueror;
dissolved 1539; granted to Sir Humphrey Radcliff c.1553;
nave now in use as parish church
The Abbey Church of Saint Mary and Saint Helena, Elstow [23][24]

52°06′54″N 0°28′10″W / 52.114947°N 0.469502°W / 52.114947; -0.469502 (Elstow Abbey)
Grovebury Priory,
Leighton Buzzard
Fontévrault Benedictine monks
alien house: cell dependent on Fontévrault
manor granted after 1164 by Henry II;
founded after 1189;
dissolved 1414;
farmhouse built on site
La Grave Priory;
Leighton Buzzard Priory;
Grovesbury Priory
[25][26]

51°54′14″N 0°39′35″W / 51.9037717°N 0.6598234°W / 51.9037717; -0.6598234 (Grovebury Priory)
Hardwick Preceptory # Knights Hospitaller
founded before(?)1279
dissolved before(?)1489
[27]

52°05′05″N 0°29′53″W / 52.0847015°N 0.498054°W / 52.0847015; -0.498054 (Hardwick Preceptory)
Harrold Priory # Augustinian Canonesses — Arroasian under protection and guidance of (possibly lay) brothers (see immediately below)
alien house: daughter of Arrouaise, Normandy
founded 1138 by Sampson le Forte;
ceded to Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire 1177
Augustinian Canonesses
became denizen: independent from 1188;
dissolved 1536; granted to William Lord Parr
site occupied by farmhouse and a mansion named 'Harrold Hall', built 1608-1610
The Priory Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Peter, Harrold
____________________
Harwood Priory
[28][29]

52°11′58″N 0°36′20″W / 52.1994534°N 0.6054738°W / 52.1994534; -0.6054738 (Harrold Priory)
Harrold Priory Cell Augustinian Canons Regular — Arroasian (or possibly lay-brothers[note 6]) attached to the nunnery (see immediately above)
founded c.1136-8;
dissolved before 1181
Leighton Buzzard Cell # Cistercian monks
cell or grange? dependent on Woburn;
founded before 1159
[30]

51°54′57″N 0°39′46″W / 51.9159317°N 0.6628825°W / 51.9159317; -0.6628825 (Leighton Buzzard Cell)
Markyate Priory Historical county location. See entry under List of monastic houses in Hertfordshire
Melchbourne Preceptory Knights Hospitaller
founded before 1176 by Lady Alice de Claremonte, Countess of Pembroke;
dissolved 1486; held by the prior of England from 1489, de facto losing its status as a preceptory;
granted to John, Earl of Bedford 1550/1;
restored to the Knights by Queen Mary
Melchbourne Priory;
Melchburn Preceptory;
Mechelburn Preceptory
[31][32]

52°16′17″N 0°29′33″W / 52.2712563°N 0.4924536°W / 52.2712563; -0.4924536 (Melchbourne Preceptory)
Millbrook Priory # Benedictine monks
priory cell dependent on St Albans, Hertfordshire;
founded 1097-1119: church granted to St Albans by Nigel de Waste;
transferred to (/merged with) Beadlow 1143;
dissolved 1140-6
Saint Michael
____________________
Millbrook Cell
[33][34]

52°02′10″N 0°31′26″W / 52.0359803°N 0.5239105°W / 52.0359803; -0.5239105 (Millbrook Priory)
Newnham Priory # Augustinian Canons Regular — from Bedford Priory (collegiate church of St Paul)
(community founded at Bedford c.1165)
transferred here c.1180;
dissolved 1540; granted to Urian Brereton 1540/1
Saint Paul
____________________
Newenham Priory;
Newenham by Bedford Priory
[8][35][36]

52°08′27″N 0°26′42″W / 52.140758°N 0.445118°W / 52.140758; -0.445118 (Newnham Priory (approx loc)) (approx)
Pulloxhill Grange Augustinian Canons Regular
grange of Dunstable;
dissolved; granted to Sir William Pagett 1547
[37]

51°59′40″N 0°27′12″W / 51.994315°N 0.453444°W / 51.994315; -0.453444 (Pulloxhill Grange)
Ruxox Cell Augustinian Canons Regular
cell/chapel for retired brothers from Dunstable;
founded before 1189;
dissolved after 1290
chapel dedicated to St Nicholas [38][39]

52°00′45″N 0°28′32″W / 52.012428°N 0.475647°W / 52.012428; -0.475647 (Ruxox Cell)
Turvey Abbey * Benedictine nuns
extant;
adjacent to Benedictine monastery (see immediately below)
The Priory of Our Lady of Peace [40][41]

52°09′42″N 0°37′06″W / 52.161705°N 0.618389°W / 52.161705; -0.618389 (Turvey Abbey)
Turvey monastery * Benedictine monks
founded 1980; extant;
adjacent to Benedictine Abbey (see immediately above)
The Monastery of Christ our Saviour [40][41]

52°09′41″N 0°37′09″W / 52.161251°N 0.619199°W / 52.161251; -0.619199 (Turvey monastery)
Warden Abbey # Warden Abbey (428017).jpg Cistercian monks
founded 1136 by Walter Espec;
dissolved (surrendered by the abbot and monks) 4 December 1538;
Elizabethan house built on site (of which exist only remnants)
renovated 1974; (LT)
The Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Old Warden
____________________
St Mary de Sartis Abbey;
Old Warden Abbey;
Wardon Abbey
[42][43][44]

52°04′54″N 0°22′00″W / 52.081749°N 0.366583°W / 52.081749; -0.366583 (Warden Abbey)
Woburn Abbey # WoburnAbbey02.JPG Cistercian monks
daughter of Fountains, Yorkshire
founded 28 May 1145 by Hugh de Bolebec;
dissolved 1538; granted to John Lord Russell 1547/8
site now occupied by a mansion, estate and safari park
The Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Woburn [45][46][47]

51°58′58″N 0°35′43″W / 51.982858°N 0.595365°W / 51.982858; -0.595365 (Woburn Abbey)

Glossary[edit]


edit this box

Map link to lists of monastic houses in England by county[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Caldwell Priory — founder Simon Basket: Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum p.382
  2. ^ Caldwell Priory — foundation in the reign of Henry II or Stephen, founder unknown: Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 p.382
  3. ^ Caldwell Priory — grant of land by Robert, son of William de Houton and confirmation by Henry III: Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum Vol2, p.158 and Cobbett, List of Abbeys, Priories, Nunneries, etc. p.41
  4. ^ Chicksands Priory — foundation c.1150: Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 and Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum
  5. ^ Chicksands Priory — foundation c.1154: Knowles, Religious Houses of Medieval England (1940), however Henry Murdac, Archbishop of York (who died 1153) witnessed the first charter
  6. ^ Harrold Priory Cell — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 asserts canons, whilst communications and references from J. C. Dickinson say they were lay brothers rather than canons

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bedfordshire County Council: Beadlow
  2. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: BEAULIEU PRIORY
  3. ^ BEAULIEU PRIORY , Investigation History
  4. ^ Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516: Bedfordshire
  5. ^ British History Online — Friaries: The Franciscans of Bedford  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (p.395)
  6. ^ Bedford Timeline — Digitised Resources — Bedfordshire's Virtual Library
  7. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: BEDFORD ABBEY
  8. ^ a b Pastscape — Detailed Result: ST PAULS CHURCH
  9. ^ English Heritage — Bushmead Priory
  10. ^ Bushmead Priory : Bedfordshire : East of England : Find a property by map : Properties : Days Out & Events
  11. ^ http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/Bushmead_Priory.pdf
  12. ^ BUSHMEAD PRIORY, Sources
  13. ^ British History Online —Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Bushmead — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.385-387)
  14. ^ Bushmead Priory, Bedfordshire
  15. ^ British History Online — Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Caldwell  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.382-385)
  16. ^ British History Online — Parishes: Little Staughton  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3 (pp.165-168)
  17. ^ Chicksands Priory — Digitised Resources — Bedfordshire's Virtual Library
  18. ^ a b Dunstable Priory, Bedfordshire
  19. ^ British History Online — Friaries: The Dominicans of Dunstable  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.395-396)
  20. ^ Dunstable: Priory Church — Digitised Resources — Bedfordshire's Virtual Library
  21. ^ British History Online — Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Dunstable  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.371-377)
  22. ^ Priory Church of St Peter, Dunstable — Bedfordshire — Diocese of St Albans
  23. ^ British History Online — Houses of Benedictine nuns: The abbey of Elstow  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.353-358)
  24. ^ Elstow Abbey Home Page
  25. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: GROVEBURY PRIORY
  26. ^ British History Online — Alien house: Priory of La Grave or Grovebury  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.403-404)
  27. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: HARDWICK HOSPITALLERS PRECEPTORY
  28. ^ British History Online — House of Austin nuns: The priory of Harrold  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.387-390)
  29. ^ Harrold Timeline — Digitised Resources — Bedfordshire's Virtual Library
  30. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 346524
  31. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: MELCHBOURNE HOSPITALLERS PRECEPTORY
  32. ^ British History Online — House of Knights Hospitallers: The preceptory of Melchbourne  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (p.394)
  33. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: ST MICHAELS CHURCH
  34. ^ British History Online — Parishes: Millbrook  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3 (pp.316-320)
  35. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: NEWNHAM PRIORY
  36. ^ British History Online — Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Newnham  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.377-381)
  37. ^ British History Online — Parishes: Pulloxhill  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 2 (pp.376-381)
  38. ^ British History Online — Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Dunstable  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.371-377)
  39. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: RUXOX CHAPEL OR PRIORY CELL
  40. ^ a b Turvey Abbey, Home Page
  41. ^ a b Turvey — Turvey Abbey — a brief introduction — Bedfordshire's Virtual Library
  42. ^ British History Online — Houses of Cistercian monks: The abbey of Warden  — Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.361-366)
  43. ^ Hosted By Bedford Borough Council: Introduction
  44. ^ http://cistercians.shef.ac.uk/abbeys/warden.php
  45. ^ Pastscape — Detailed Result: WOBURN ABBEY
  46. ^ British History Online — Houses of Cistercian monks: The abbey of Woburn  — Victoria County History — A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 1 (pp.366-370)
  47. ^ Woburn Abbey ~ Uncover living history at the Abbey

Bibliography[edit]

  • Binns, Alison (1989) Studies in the History of Medieval Religion 1: Dedications of Monastic Houses in England and Wales 1066-1216, Boydell
  • Cobbett, William (1868) List of Abbeys, Priories, Nunneries, Hospitals, And Other Religious Foundations in England and Wales and in Ireland, Confiscated, Seized On, or Alienated by the Protestant "Reformation" Sovereigns and Parliaments
  • Knowles, David & Hadcock, R. Neville (1971) Medieval Religious Houses England & Wales. Longman
  • Morris, Richard (1979) Cathedrals and Abbeys of England and Wales, J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.
  • Thorold, Henry (1986) Collins Guide to Cathedrals, Abbeys and Priories of England and Wales, Collins
  • Thorold, Henry (1993) Collins Guide to the Ruined Abbeys of England, Wales and Scotland, Collins
  • Wright, Geoffrey N., (2004) Discovering Abbeys and Priories, Shire Publications Ltd.
  • English Cathedrals and Abbeys, Illustrated, Odhams Press Ltd.
  • Map of Monastic Britain, South Sheet, Ordnance Survey, 2nd edition, 1954