Barnwell Priory

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The Cellarer's Chequer, part of the old Barnwell Priory.

Barnwell Priory was an Augustinian priory at Barnwell in Cambridgeshire, founded as a house of Canons Regular. The only surviving parts are 13th-century claustral building, which is a Grade II* listed,[1] and remnants found in the walls, cellar and gardens of Abbey House.[2][3]

The priory was home to the Barnwell chronicler, an anonymous chronicler who wrote about the reign of King John.


The priory was founded in 1092 by Picot of Cambridge, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, as a house of Canons Regular in a church of St. Giles by Cambridge Castle. Having strong links with Colchester priory the monks of Cambridge followed Colchester's lead in adopting Augustinian rule. Picot endowed the six brethren with an income from tithes and with a number of rectories. After his death the monastery fell into the hands of the king, who then gave it to Pain Peverel. [4]

Pain gave land at Chesterton on which the monks built a new priory, Barnwell Priory, whose lands increased by donations from local landowners. Over time the priory itself grew in size and strength until there were 30 canons in residence.

The priory was finally dissolved on 11 November 1538 as part of the general Dissolution of the Monasteries and granted to Anthony Brown c.1546 and Edward, Lord Clinton c.1552. The buildings became ruinous and were almost thoroughly destroyed in 1810.


  1. ^ Historic England. "BARNWELL PRIORY (THE CELLARER'S CHECKER) (1126103)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Alison (1999), "Medieval Religious Houses in the Town", Cambridge: The Hidden History, Tempus, ISBN 9780752414362 
  3. ^ Garrett, Martin (2004), "Cambridge Churches and Religion", Cambridge: A Cultural and Literary History, Signal, ISBN 9781902669793 
  4. ^ "Houses of Augustinian canons: Priory of Barnwell". British History Online. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 

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Coordinates: 52°12′35″N 0°08′20″E / 52.2096°N 0.1390°E / 52.2096; 0.1390