Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: Kidwelly

c. 1110: Foundation

Kidwelly was founded as a cell of Sherborne Abbey, which was at that time a cathedral priory.

Roger, bishop of Salisbury, granted Prior Thurstan and the monks of Sherborne one carucate of land in Kidwelly for the sake of his own soul and those of his family and ancestors as well as for the souls of Henry I and the royal family. Just three days after issuing this grant Bishop Roger dedicated the cemetery. On this occasion, English, Flemish and French burgesses gave Sherborne their tithes at Penalt and Pen-bre.

Seemingly most if not all of the monastic community came from Sherborne and the west of England. Accordingly, to the native Welsh Kidwelly was very much a foreign foundation and not one they were likely to patronise or join.

Kidwelly was not a functioning monastery as such, but a cell where representatives from Sherborne were sent to establish a monastic presence in the area and protect its interests. Thus, there was only ever a prior and two monks at Kidwelly which remained one of the smallest foundations in medieval Wales.

People associated with this event

Roger le Poer , bishop of Salisbury (founder)

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Medieval Religious Houses, England and Wales, ed. R. Neville Hadcock and David Knowles (Harlow, 1971) pp. 55, 68

Williams, G., 'Kidwelly Priory', in Sir Gâr: Studies in Carmarthenshire History: Essays in Memory of W. H. Morris and M. C. S. Evans, Monograph series 4, ed. Heather James (The Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society: Carmathen, 1991) pp. 191-192

Other events in the history of this site

c.1110Foundation - Kidwelly was founded as a cell of Sherborne Abbey, which was at that time a cathedral priory. [2 sources]
c.1135Patronage - When the lordship of Kidwelly passed to Maurice of London he supplemented Sherborne's endowment at Kidwelly. [1 sources]
1223Destruction - The priory was burnt to the ground by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. [1 sources]
c.1268Patronage - At this time Payne de Chaworth was patron of the house. 
1284Visitation - Archbishop Pecham conducted a visitation of the house following Edward I’s conquest.  [1 sources]
c.1291Wealth - The priory's wealth, according to the Taxatio compiled for Pope Nicholas IV c. 1291, was £16.  [3 sources]
1377Poll tax - Only the prior is listed. [1 sources][1 archives]
1379Poll tax - Only the prior is listed. [1 sources][1 archives]
1403Destruction - The area was devastated during the Glyn Dŵr rebellion. [1 sources]
1481Destruction - The church was struck by lightning. [1 sources]
1534Act of Supremacy - Prior John Godmyston and his monk companion, Augustine Green, took the Oath of Supremacy.  [3 sources]
c.1535Wealth - The Valor Eccelsiasticus records the gross annual income of the house as £38. [2 sources][1 archives]
1539Dissolution - As a dependency of Sherborne Abbey, Kidwelly was spared from suppression in 1536 and dissolved with its mother-house in 1539. [2 sources]