Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: St Clears

1147-1184: Foundation

The priory was founded in the second half of the twelfth century.

St Clears was founded as an alien cell of St Martin des Champs, Paris, when the pre-existing church of St Clarus was granted to the monastic community and was duly dedicated also to Mary Magdalene. The use of the church was shared by the monks and the secular community. The foundation occurred at some time between 1147 and 1184 for while the priory is not mentioned in Pope Lucius II's confirmation to the monks of St Martin's in 1147 it is included in Eugenius IV's of 1184.
St Clears was never raised to conventual status but remained a cell for a prior and one or two monk companions. However, as Chris Pearce argues, the Cluniacs themselves were evidently satisfied that monastic observence could be adhered to fully by such small communities who might make a valuable contribution to Cluniac life.

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Graham, Rose, 'The Cluniac priory of St Martin des Champs, Paris, and its dependent priories in England and Wales', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 3rd series, 11 (1948) pp. 37-38

Other events in the history of this site

1147-1184Foundation - The priory was founded in the second half of the twelfth century. [1 sources]
1279Monastic observance - The prior of St Clears was summoned to Barnstaple Priory, another of St Martin's dependencies, to answer questions regarding the state of monastic observance.  [2 sources]
1288Debts - The prior of St Clears (William Arraines) reputedly absconded with debts outstanding to the bishop of St David’s who duly seized the priory.  [3 sources]
c.1291Wealth - According to the Taxatio the house had only twelve acres of arable land and its spiritualities and temporalities totalled £15 19s 2d.  [2 sources]
1294x1414Custody - During these years the house was generally in royal custody. [2 sources][1 archives]
1305Wealth - The royal officials valued the cell at £8 10s  [1 sources][1 archives]
c.1333Resignation - By September 1333 John Seyer had resigned as prior of St Clears on account of his dissolute conduct.  [1 sources]
1339Custody - On 16 July 1339, Pontius, a monk of St Clears, was granted the keeping of St Clears during the French Wars.  [1 sources]
1377Poll tax - Only the prior is listed. [1 sources][1 archives]
1378-1409Papal Schism - Contact between Cluny and her houses in England and Wales was severed.  [1 sources]
1378Valuation - By 1378 the value of the priory had increased to £19 6s 8d. [1 archives]
c.1414Dissolution - St Clears was dissolved c. 1414.  [1 sources]
1442Custody - St Clears was granted to All Souls College, Oxford [1 sources]