Beauvale Priory

Beauvale Priory was a Carthusian Priory. It’s remains are situated in Greasley, Nottinghamshire. Today it is a farm and very scrumptious tearoom.

It was built in 1343 by Sir Nicholas de Cantilupe, Lord of Ilkeston, with the approval of King Edward III. Nicholas was given permission for twelve monks and a prior to build a priory on his land and he provided them with £100 a year in rent as well. They also received the advowsons of Greasley and Selstone – so it was their right to appoint the vicars there. Other members of Debryshire’s gentry also patronised the abbey giving land and money, none the less there were occasions when the priory struggled financially.

This record of a grant records the importance of monks saying masses for the souls of the departed.

“Sir William de Aldburgh, for the soul of his lord Edward Baliol, King of Scotland, and for the soul of Elizabeth his wife, and for others his near kinsfolk, did in 1362 grant to the priory of Beauvale the hay of Willey in Sherwood. In the succeeding reign (18 Richard II) a chantry was founded in the conventual church for two of the monks to say mass for the souls of William de Aldburgh and Edward Baliol.”

The Carthusians, renowned for their scholastic understanding, were unanimous in rejecting Henry VIII’s “Great Matter.” In refusing to consider an annulment of the marriage between Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon they were required to pay a particularly heavy price.

1535, Robert Lawrence, the Prior of Beauvale, travelled to London, as did the Prior of Axholme another Carthusian priory to discuss matters with the monks at the London Charterhouse. Lawrence had been a member of the London house, and had been transferred to Beauvale as its prior five years previously whilst John Houghton who had been Prior of Beauvale was sent to take charge of the mother house in London. The three priors decided to talk about the matter with Cromwell but he refused to discuss the matter sending them to the Tower instead. They refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and were executed.

‘House of Carthusian monks: The priory of Beauvale’, in A History of the County of Nottingham: Volume 2, ed. William Page (London, 1910), pp. 105-109. British History Online [accessed 7 February 2021].