Prinknash Abbey

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Prinknash Abbey
The Abbey of Our Lady and St. Peter at Prinknash
Monastery information
Order Benedictine, Subiaco Congregation
Established 681 at Gloucester as St. Peter's Abbey
Disestablished Suppressed by King Henry VIII in 1541 (re-established, after exile, in 1928)
Mother house Benedictine monks of Caldey Island
Diocese Diocese of Clifton
Founder(s) Abbot Serlo (1072-1104), re-founded under Ælred Carlyle (1928)
Important associated figures Dom Bede Griffiths, Ælred Carlyle, Stephen Horton

Prinknash Abbey (/ˈprɪnɪ/[1]) is a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery in the Vale of Gloucester in the Diocese of Clifton, near the village of Cranham.

For nearly 900 years the land known as Prinknash has been associated with Benedictine monks. In 1096 the Giffard family, who had come to England with William the Conqueror, made a gift of the land to Serlo, Abbot of St. Peter's, Gloucester. A large part of the present building was built during the abbacy of William Parker, last Abbot of Gloucester, around the year 1520.

It remained in the abbey's hands until the suppression of the monasteries in 1539 when it was rented from the Crown by Sir Anthony Kingston who was to provide 40 deer annually to King Henry VIII, who used the House as a hunting lodge. Prinknash Park continued to be used as a home for the gentry and nobility of Gloucestershire during the next few centuries and each generation left its mark on the property.[citation needed]

On 1 August 1928 a Deed of Covenant was made out by the twentieth Earl of Rothes, the grandson of Thomas Dyer Edwards, a Catholic convert, whose wish was that Prinknash should be given to the Benedictine monks of Caldey Island. These monks had converted to the Catholic Faith in 1913 and were led by Ælred Carlyle, a convert also, later to become a famous abbot. Caldey Island was eventually sold to the Cistercian monks and on 26 October 1928 six Benedictine monks arrived from Caldey Island to convert the house at Prinknash into a monastery. The rest soon followed and after some years of poverty they managed to purchase all the land around the house to make Prinknash as it is today. The bones of Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury, are kept at Prinknash.[citation needed]

The community continued to grow, beginning with 25 monks. There are now 12 at Prinknash itself and more are spread over three monasteries, a foundation being made at Farnborough in May 1947 and in Pluscarden in Scotland later that year. In 1939 a foundation stone for a new abbey was laid at Prinknash by Cardinal Hinsley, but the Second World War intervened and previous building plans were eventually drawn up by F.G. Broadbent. The monks moved into the new abbey in 1972 and the old abbey was converted into a retreat and conference centre, known as "St Peter's Grange", after being re-roofed and furnished. On the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul (30 June) 2008 the community moved from the 1972 building back to St Peter’s Grange.[citation needed]

Form of the Roman Rite used at Mass[edit]

Since 2002 Prinknash has had regular celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Presently a Low Mass is celebrated each Saturday at 11.00 am and on the first Sunday of the month at 3.00 (except on certain occasions, as notified by website or telephone).

The community celebrates a Missa Cantata on certain high feasts and holy days and, on others, Low Mass is said earlier in the morning at 8.15.


  1. ^ Wells, J C (1990). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Harlow: Longman. p. 558. ISBN 0-582-05383-8. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°49′21″N 2°10′34″W / 51.82250°N 2.17611°W / 51.82250; -2.17611