List of monastic houses in Cheshire
The following is a list of monastic houses in Cheshire, 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  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
Locations with names in italics indicate probable duplication (misidentification with another location)
Alphabetical listing of establishments
|Foundation||Image||Communities & Provenance||Formal Name or Dedication
& Alternative Names
|Online References & Location|
|Barrow Camera (?)||Knights Hospitaller
church granted by Robert de Bachepuz[note 1];
considered to be a confusion with Barrow Camera in Derbyshire[note 2]
|Great Barrow Camera|
|Birkenhead Priory||Historical county location. See entry under List of monastic houses in Merseyside|
|Bromborough Priory||Historical county location. See entry under List of monastic houses in Merseyside|
|Chester Abbey +||tradition of very early foundation disputed[note 3]
founded before 875;
destroyed? in raids by the Danes 875;
founded after 907, traditionally by Æthelflæd, daughter of King Alfred[note 4];
refounded as an abbey 1092/3 by Hugh I, Earl of Chester;
dissolved 1540; granted 1534/5;
episcopal diocesan cathedral
founded 1541; extant
|The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Chester (-875)
The Abbey Church of Saint Werburgh, Chester
The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Chester (1541)
|Chester Abbey||secular canons?
destroyed? in raids by the Danes after 875;
secular canons with associated anchorite cell;
part of the college of St John the Baptist;
briefly episcopal diocesan cathedral, then co-cathedral with Coventry ?1072/5 until 1102;
in parochial use from 1102
|The Abbey Church of Saint John the Baptist, Chester
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Baptist, Chester (1072/5-1102)
|Chester Blackfriars||Dominican Friars (under the Visitation of Oxford)
founded before 1236 by Alexander Stavensby, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield;
dissolved 1538; granted to John Coke of London February 1544; site came into the possession of the Dutton family 1561
|Chester Franciscan Friary *||Capuchin Franciscan Friars||
|Chester Greyfriars||Franciscan Friars Minor, Conventual (under the Custody of Worcester)
founded 1237/8 (1238-40) by Albert of Pisa;
dissolved 1537 (15 August 1538); granted to John Coke
|Chester Friars of the Sack||Friars of the Sack
founded before 1274;
dissolved 1284; community probably died out before 1300
|Chester — St Michael's Monastery||uncertain order
founded before 1162;[note 5];
Parish Church of St Michael, built 15th century; rebuilt by James Harrison 1849-50, currently in use as a Heritage Centre
|Chester Whitefriars||Carmelite Friars
founded 1279 (or before 1277) by Thomas Stadham; precinct granted 1289 to build their house;
dissolved 15 August 1538; granted to John Coke (Cokkes)
|Chester Priory, earlier site||Benedictine? nuns
founded before 1066;
dissolved before c.1140;
refounded on new site (see immediately below)
|Chester Priory #||Benedictine nuns
(community founded at earlier site (see immediately above) before 1066);
transferred here refounded c.1140 by Ranulph de Gernon (Randal), Earl of Chester;
dissolved 1537 (c.1540(?)); granted to Urian Brereton and son;
site excavated prior to construction of County Police Headquarters on site 1964
|The Priory Church of Saint Mary, Chester||
|Combermere Abbey||Savignac monks — from Savigny
founded 3 November 1133 by Hugh de Malbane, Lord of Nantwich;
orders merged 17 September 1147;
dissolved 1538; granted to William Cotton, Esq.
|The Abbey Church of Saint Mary and Saint Michael, Combermere||
|Curzon Park Abbey *, Chester||Benedictine nuns
(community founded at Talacre, Wales, 1868);
transferred from Talacre 1988; extant
|The Abbey Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Curzon Park, Chester||
|Darnhall Abbey||Cistercian monks — from Abbey Dore, Herefordshire
founded 14 January 1271 to February 1274 by Edward I;
transferred to new site at Vale Royal 1281
|The Abbey Church of Saint Mary, Darnhall||
|Hilbre Island||Historical county location. See entry under List of monastic houses in Merseyside|
|Mobberley Priory #||Augustinian Canons Regular
founded c.1203-4 (c.1206) by Patrick of Mobberley;
annexed as a cell dependent on Rocester, Staffordshire 1228-40;
manor house built on site 1625 (replacing earlier, ruinous house)
|The Priory Church of Saint Mary and Saint Wilfrid, Mobberley
|Norton Priory||Augustinian Canons Regular
(community founded at Runcorn c.1115);
transferred from Runcorn 1134 by William FitzWilliam third Baron of Halton;
raised to abbey status 1391 (1422) (early in the reign of Henry VI or sooner);
dissolved 1536; granted to Richard Brooke;
part converted into private mansion 1545;
now in ownership of Norton Priory Museum Trust open to public as a museum
|The Priory Church of Saint Mary at Norton
Greene, pp. 2–3, 65–72.
Starkey, pp. 9, 35–40.
|Poulton Abbey||Savignac monks — from Combermere
site granted to Combermere 1146;
orders merged 17 September 1147;
founded 1153[note 6] by Robert, butler to Ranulf II, Earl of Chester;
building possibly completed 12 May 1158;
transferred to new site at Dieulacres, Staffordshire 1214 due to incursions by the Welsh;
subsequently re-used as a monastic grange with chapel;
dissolved; granted to William Cotton, Esq. (Sir George Cotton) c.1544;
ruinous before 1672;
demolished before 1718
|St Mary and St Benedict
|Runcorn Priory||supposed monastic house[note 7]
founded c.912 by Æthelflaed of Mercia;
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1115 by William FitzNigel second Baron of Halton;
transferred to new site at Norton 1134;
possibly on site now occupied by All Saints parish church
|St Mary and St Bertelin||Greene, p. 1.
Starkey, p. 9.
|Saighton Grange||Benedictine monks
mainly agricultural grange converted to residential grange of the abbots of Chester 15th century;
monastic site, apart from gatehouse, demolished 1861;
house built on site;
converted into a school named 'Abbey Gate College' 1977
|Stanlow Abbey||Cistercian monks — from Combermere;
founded 11 November 1172 by John FitzRichard, Constable and sixth Baron of Halton;
transferred to new site at Whalley, Lancashire 1296; retained in use as a cell/grange dependent on Whalley from c.1350(?) until 1442;
dissolved 1442?; granted to Sir Robert Cotton, Kt. c.1553;
no substantial remains, site inaccessible
|The Blessed Virgin Mary
Locus Benedictus de Stanlawe;
|Stanney Grange||Cistercian monks
grange with resident monk, dependent on Stanlow and Whalley, Lancashire;
|Cow Worth Grange||
|Vale Royal Abbey||Cistercian monks
(community founded at Darnhall 14 January 1274 to 1277);
transferred from Darnhall 1281;
never completed; a project of Edward I;
dissolved 1545; granted to Thomas Holcroft c.1543
|Saint Mary the Virgin, Saint Nicholas and Saint Nicasius
|Warrington Austin Friars||Augustinian Friars (under the Limit of Lincoln)
founded before 1272? (built 1379?) on the site of an earlier hospital;
dissolved 1539; granted to Thomas Holcroft 1540/1;
church continued in use until 17th century
|Warburton Priory||Historical county location. See entry under List of monastic houses in Greater Manchester|
||edit this box|
- Barrow, Cheshire founder: citing Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum vi, p.835 and T. Tanner, Notitia Monastica, also Ormerod, ii, p.186 and Victoria County History: A History of the County of Derby, Volume 2, p.75, n.3
- Barrow, Cheshire disputed - L. B. Larking, The Knights Hospitallers in England p.233
- Chester Abbey T. Tanner, Notitia Monastica, p.57, considers the accounts of Chester Cathedral's foundation either in the time of King Lucius or the foundation of a nunnery by King Wulfhere for his daughter Werburg to be later fictions
- Chester Abbey: Christopher N. L. Brooke's communications consider this tradition is correct
- St Michael's Monastery, Chester: T. Tanner, Notitia Monastica p.62, cites Charter of Roger, Constable of Chester and that of Henry II to the Canons of Norton, and states in note i that Sir Peter Leycester, Historical Antiquities p.198, considers this to have been the parish church of St Michael
- Poulton Abbey foundation: Robert died 1153 — date given by W. Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum; M. J. C. Fisher, referring to the Chronicle of Dieulacres, Grays Inn, manuscript no.9, f, 138 v. possiby indicates when building started
- Runcorn, foundation by Æthelflaed doubted by T. Tanner, Notitia Monastica p.59, note n.
- Houses of Benedictine monks — The abbey of Chester | A History of the County of Chester: Volume 3 (pp. 132-146)
- "Welcome to Chester Cathedral". Chestercathedral.com. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Chester Cathedral, Cheshire, U.K". Chester Tourist. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Chester Cathedral". Britainexpress.com. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
- "Friaries — The Dominicans of Chester | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: CHESTER BLACKFRIARS
- "Articles: 2. FRIARIES: CHESTER — Capuchin Franciscan Friars". Uk.ofmcap.pl. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Friaries — The Franciscans of Chester | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: CHESTER GREYFRIARS
- "Friaries — The Friars of the Sack | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: CHESTER FRIARY OF FRIARS OF THE SACK
- "Friaries — The Carmelites of Chester | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: CHESTER WHITEFRIARS
- "House of Benedictine nuns — The priory of Chester | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Other Features". Cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "English Monastic Archives". Ucl.ac.uk. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Houses of Cistercian monks — The abbey of Combermere | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Curzon Park Abbey — Title Page". Curzonpark.org.uk. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "English Benedictine Congregation — Curzon Park Abbey". Benedictines.org.uk. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Houses of Cistercian monks — The abbey of Vale Royal | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Pastscape — Detailed Result: DARNHALL ABBEY". Pastscape.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Houses of Augustinian canons — The priory of Rocester | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "House of Augustinian canons — The abbey of Norton | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Museum & Gardens". Norton Priory. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: POULTON ABBEY AND CHAPEL
- "Time Team 2007 — Poulton, Cheshire". channel4.com. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "The Poulton Research Project". Poultonproject.org. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: ABBEY GATE COLLEGE
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: STANLOW ABBEY
- "RELIGIOUS HOUSES — Introduction | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Pastscape — Detailed Result: WARRINGTON AUSTIN FRIARY
- 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