Monastic Wales.

Source details: (Book)

The Dependent Priories of Medieval English Monasteries

Heale, Martin


Studies in the History of Medieval Religion,

Boydell and Brewer (Woodbridge 2004)

Hundreds of dependent priories were founded across medieval Europe, yet there has been little analysis of these houses and much confusion. While they are often dismissed as administrative units, many were in fact genuine religious houses set up for spiritual reasons. This study charts the history of the 140 or so daughter houses of English monasteries, which have always been overshadowed by the French cells in England, the so-called alien priories. The first part of the book examines the reasons for the foundation of these monasteries and the relations between dependent priories and their mother houses, bishops and patrons. The second part investigates everyday life in cells, the priories' interaction with their neighbours and their economic viability. The unusual pattern of the dissolution of these houses is also considered. The experience of daughter houses opens a window on to the world of the small religious house and suggests that these shadowy institutions were far more central to medieval religion and society than has hitherto been appreciated.

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