Newburgh Priory

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early 19th-century
Newburgh Priory.jpg
General information
Type English country house
Location Newburgh Priory, Coxwold, York, North Yorkshire
Country England
Coordinates 54°10′52″N 1°10′23″W / 54.18111°N 1.17306°W / 54.18111; -1.17306Coordinates: 54°10′52″N 1°10′23″W / 54.18111°N 1.17306°W / 54.18111; -1.17306
Owner Newburgh Priory Estate

Newburgh Priory is a large house near Coxwold, North Yorkshire, England. Standing on the site of an Augustinian priory, founded in 1145, it is a stately home in a rural setting with views to the Kilburn White Horse in the distance. The grounds contain a water garden, walled garden, topiary yews and woodland walks.

It was an Augustinian Priory from 1145 providing priests for the surrounding churches in return for gifts of land and money from the rich landowners. It is reputed to be the burial place of Oliver Cromwell[1] whose remains were said to have been taken to Newburgh Priory by his daughter Mary when she married the 2nd Viscount. The house was the country seat for the Bellasis family in the 16th and 17th century.

Newburgh used to belong to the Earls of Fauconberg is now the home of Sir George and Lady Wombwell who open the Priory to visitors for guided tours from April to June.[1]

It is home to the Magic Loungeabout music festival.


The Augustinian priory was founded on lands originally granted by William the Conqueror to Robert de Mowbray. Roger de Mowbray established the Priory in 1145. The Mowbrays continued to support the priory, as Roger's grandson, William de Mowbray, was also a benefactor and was buried there in about 1222.[2] Little more is known of the Priory from its founding until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 by Henry VIII, except that Margaret Tudor stayed a night there on 17 August 1503 as a guest of the Prior during her progress to meet her husband James IV of Scotland.[3]

Anthony de Bellasis, a royal chaplain, purchased the priory in 1539 from Henry VIII for £1,062. Anthony, with his brother Richard, had been responsible for the dissolution of not only Newburgh, but also eight other monasteries in the north of England. His nephew Sir William Bellasis (1524–1604) converted Newburgh into a private residence in 1546. Having converted the Priory, he set the scene for Newburgh as it is today and, except for the alterations and building work carried out between 1720–1760, the Priory remains much the same as it was during the Tudor period. He was appointed High Sheriff of Yorkshire for 1574-75. His eldest surviving son Henry was several times MP for Thirsk, once for Aldborough and High Sheriff for 1603–04. In 1611, he became one of the first baronets. His son Thomas Belasyse, 1st Viscount Fauconberg, also MP for Thirsk, succeeded him and took the title of Fauconberg when created a baron in 1627 (and viscount in 1643). The viscount's grandson Thomas married Oliver Cromwell's daughter and was created Earl Fauconberg in 1689.

The property then descended through several generations to Henry Belasyse, 2nd Earl Fauconberg. On his death in 1802 the earldom became extinct and Newburgh was left to Lady Charlotte, his eldest daughter, who had married Thomas Wynn. He took the surname Belasyse and was High Sheriff in 1810–11. On Lady Charlotte's death in 1825 without male heir, the estate passed to George Wombwell, 3rd Baronet, the son of her sister Lady Anne, who had married Sir George Wombwell, 2nd Baronet in 1791. The 3rd Baronet's son, Sir George Orby Wombwell, 4th Baronet, was a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade and High Sheriff for 1861.

Newburgh is still lived in, and cared for, by the present 7th Baronet Wombwell and his wife, Sir George and Lady Wombwell.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Newburgh Priory". Newburgh Priory Estate. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  2. ^  Tait, James (1894). "Mowbray, William de". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 238. 
  3. ^ Leland, John, Collectanea, Hearne, Thomas ed., vol. iv, (1770), 275.