It was much easier to set the question than to produce the answer. Nor does it help that I’m losing track of the days of the week – I’m now functioning on today, yesterday, tomorrow and a shrug of the shoulders.
I hope that this challenge encouraged you to think of some of the places that you’ve visited and read about. I began with the challenge of 23 monastic houses – one for each letter of the alphabet with XYZ counting as one rather than 3 – I struggled for a little while with O. How did you all do? The only reason that I’ve got Quarr on the Isle of Wight is because I’ve visited it. Rather than produce a second separate list I’ve added as many abbeys and priories as I can against each letter of the alphabet – that is not to say that there are 625 of them. If you have them all then all I can say is “How lovely to meet you Mr Cromwell.”
A = Armathwaite, Appleby, Abbotsbury (there’s a huge monastic barn at this site), Alnwick, Abingdon, Axholme, Athelney, Amesbury, Alvingham, Aylesford and Arden. Anglesey Abbey in Camridgeshire was not in actual fact an abbey – it was more of a hermitage. As with Calke Abbey in Derbyshire it was retrospectively enlarged by its secular owners!
B = Brinkburn, Bermondsey, Blakeney, Baysdale, Bolton, Burscough, Blyth, Breadsall, Beauvale, Buckland, Bardney, Barlings, Battle, Beaulieu, Brooke, Bayham, Binham, Bamburgh, Boscobel, Boston, Bungay, Barking, Bath, Beauvale, Beauchief, Bridlington, Bury St Edmunds, Birkenhead, Boxgrove and Byland.
C= Carlisle, Chester, Calder, Cartmel, Conwy, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Cardiff, Clifford, Chepstowe, Cannington, Canonsleigh, Cranbourne, Creake, Canons Ashby, Crowland, Cirencester, Canterbury, Coggeshall, Coventry, Croxton, Clare and Chatteris.
D = Droitwich, Dunster, Dunkerswell, Denny, Dorchester, Dieulacresse, Deeping St James, Dover (x2) Dunstable and Durham.
E = Easby, Egglestone and Evesham.
F = Furness, Forde, Fountains and Faversham,
G= Gisborough, Glastonbury, Gloucester, Garendon, Great Malvern, Great Yarmouth and Godstow
H= Holmecultram, Hornby, Hailes, Haughmond, Hexham, Hurley and Horsham.
I= Ingham and Isleham
J= Jarrow and Jervaulx
K= Kersal, Kirkham, Kirkstall, Kirkstead, Kidwelly and Kennilworth
L= Lancercost, Lytham, Lack, Lenton, Lewes, Lilleshall, Lindisfarne, Leicester and Leominster
M= Malmesbury, Maxstoke, Meaux, Monk Bretton, Monkwearmouth, Mount Grace, Much Wenlock, Milton Abbas, Minster-in-Sheppey and Morville
N= Norton, Netley, Norton, Newark, Nun Monkton and Newstead.
P= Penrith, Pershore, Prittlewell, Plymouth and Peterborough
Q= Quarr (Isle of Wight)
R= Rievaulx, Roche, Ramsey, Romsey, Reading, Repton, Richmond, Rosedale, Royston and Rufford
S= St Bees, St David’s, Seton, Sawley, Selby, Shap, Swine, Sherbourne, Syon House and Shrewsbury
T= Thornhome, Titchfield, Tavistock and Tupholme.
U= Upholland and Usk.
V= Vale Royal, Vale Crucis
W= Warrington, waltham, Watton, Waverley, Whitby, Wymondham, Welbeck, Wetheral, Wigmore and Winchester.
X,Y,Z = York (x2) and Yedingham.
This is clearly not a complete list so if you have any others don’t forget to add them to your tally. If you have more than 50 then you are doing very well indeed!
I shall now have no excuse not to update the History Jar list of abbeys and priories. I started sometime ago but never finished, unlike Thomas Cromwell’s commissioners who did a very speedy job indeed.
Ordinance Survey produced a two volume map (a north and a south sheet) showing monastic houses in 1950. This is not in publication at the moment. There was also a Jackdaw folder produced about the Dissolution of the Monasteries. One of the documents was a map of the monastic houses of England and Wales.
The Abbey Explorer’s Guide by Frank Bottomley contains a comprehensive gazetteer of monastic houses. There is also a book by English Heritage on Abbeys and Priories.
This must have been a daunting undertaking; I thank you very much for the information. I did alright but am certainly no Mr Cromwell.
i do see one typo in Lancercost but the list has opened up many a future visit.
Thanks very much,
I think by the end of this I shall have a long list of places to visit as well, though I will have a much better organised set of photographs. Lanercost is one of my favourite places – we’ve been going there since the children were little.
I can add a ‘D’ to your list, Julia – Dale Abbey in Derbyshire, just over the Notts border, between the city of Nottingham and city of Derby. It’s familiar to me, as one of my family lines hails from the village of Dale Abbey, before they upped sticks and came to Bulwell village and Edwalton village, both in Nottinghamshire.
It is a lovely little ‘enclosed’ kind of village area, easy to see the choice of place to build an abbey, and, now, with parts of the abbey literally built into a few of the houses – or should I say, the houses were built into the abbey building remains. I’d never seen anything like that before – and it sparked my school history of architecture studies on the spot! Fascinating stuff – and well worth a visit – just don’t confuse the place with Darley Abbey……. they are not the same place. Hope you like it – when we are allowed out to explore again…..
I’m not sure how I managed to miss that one as I frequently talk about Derbyshire abbeys. Thankyou for adding it.
You’ve got me on a roll, now, Julia…. I’m thoroughly enjoying this subject, thank you. A ‘W’ I visited many moons ago, as a 6th former, hence the hazy memory – so I can’t say anything but that I went there with fellow school friends – Worksop Priory. Now, I’ve got to look it up….
And many thanks for your history pages – I’ve been enjoying them for a long time and haven’t said so. You’ve brightened a lot of days for me – getting my head around family trees of historical figures, especially.
I should have known that one as well – I’ve always wanted to go and have a look at the snowdrops. Which reminds me of Hodsock Priory (not even sure if I’ve spelled it right.) I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I enjoy writing it and at the moment it’s an element of normal in an other wise somewhat strange world.
What amazing list…
I have another Priory….. the tiny Kirklees Priory of Robin Hood fame which gave its name to the Metropolitan area of Kirklees in 1974 even though it is situated in Calderdale !
Once a year there is an organised tour round the site (but sadly not this year)
Did I not put it on the list? I’ve done quite a lot of research on Kirklees one way or another over the years.
…….and Whalley Abbey near Clitheroe
And another that I’ve visited and photographed and mention in my dissolution of the abbeys talk. Good job someone’s checking!