The 14th-century St. John the Baptist Church, originally established as a chapel by the Knights Hospitaller.
|Full name||From the mid 14th-century: Dalby and Heather Preceptory|
|Mother house||Dalby Preceptory|
|Founder(s)||Ralph de Greseley|
|Location||Heather, Leicestershire, England|
|Visible remains||Fragments incorporated into cellars of later house.|
Heather was an independent preceptory until around 1338, when it was reduced to the status of a "camera", a lesser establishment dependent upon another. Heather was integrated with another preceptory of the Knights Hospitaller in Leicestershire, Dalby. The two were then referred to as the "Dalby and Heather Preceptory". Dalby seems to have taken the leading role, as it was where the joint preceptory was administered from and where the Preceptor was based. Rothley Preceptory was similarly merged before 1371.
From around 1500 the land at all three preceptories, Dalby, Heather and Rothley, appears to have been rented out. In 1535, the three combined preceptories are recorded as providing the order with a sizable annual income of £231. 7s. 10d.
The site of the preceptory is currently occupied by a Georgian manor house. Nothing of the preceptory stands above ground; however, the manor's cellars incorporate remains of medieval walls. Medieval paving stones have also been found in the area.
- BBC - Domesday Reloaded: Churches at Heather
- HEATHER HOSPITALLERS PRECEPTORY, English Heritage: PastScape
- 'House of Knights Hospitallers: Preceptory of Dalby and Heather', A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2 (1954), pp. 32-33. Date accessed: 16 June 2013.
- History of Heather in North West Leicestershire, A Vision of Britain through Time, GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Date accessed: 16 June 2013