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Penmon (Priory)

Order: Augustinian Canons

Penmon Priory, on the east tip of Anglesey, had a long history as a religious establishment but was home to an Augustinian community seemingly from the early thirteenth century, when canons were sent to replace the community of secular clerks. The priory remained Augustinian until the Dissolution but by then it was one of the poorest religious houses in Wales.

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Medieval Diocese: Bangor
Affiliated to: Puffin Island (twin establishment)
Lordship at foundation: Gwynedd
Access: Public
Owned by: Parish church of St Seiriol's, Representative Body of the Church in Wales; priory ruins in the guardianship of CADW

Main events in the history of this site

c.1220Foundation - Penmon, like other important 'clasau' in Northern Wales, was reorganised as an Augustinian foundation.  [1 source]
1221Grant - The canons of Puffin Island acquired ownership of an onshore site at Penmon.  [2 sources]
1229Confirmation - Dafydd ap Llywelyn confirmed his father's charter of 1221. [2 sources]
1238Confirmation - Dafydd ap Llywelyn confirmed once more his father's charter. [1 source]
1247 Confirmation - Additional confirmations were made by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and his brother, Owain. [2 sources]
1258Abbot as witness - The prior of Penmon, along with the prior of Beddgelert and the abbots of Bardsey and Aberconwy, witnessed Llywelyn’s charter pledging his protection to Maredudd ap Rhys, in return for the latter’s homage. [1 source]
1282Destruction - The priory suffered during the Edwardian wars and was burned; the community received £46 compensation. [1 source]
1381Clerical poll tax - Payments required from the community. [1 source][1 archive]
c.1400Government of house - There was a change in the government of the priory which was now presided over by English priors who had burgesses in Beaumaris town. [1 source]
1504Visitation - The visitation records of William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, record the incontinence of Prior John Ingram of Penmon and two of the canons.  [2 sources][1 archive]
1509Fine - The prior of Penmon was fined 10s for failing to attend the Augustinian General Chapter at Leicester. [1 source]
c.1535Wealth - The Valor Ecclesiasticus estimated the priory's income at just over £40, making it one of the poorest religious houses in Wales. [2 sources][1 archive]
1536 Request - Sir Richard Bulkeley wrote to Thomas Cromwell on Prior John of Penmon's behalf. [2 sources]
c.1537Dissolution - The house was dissolved under the Act of 1536, but no date is given. [2 sources]
+ 12 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Dafydd ap Llywelyn , prince of Gwynedd (confirms charters)

Llywelyn ab Iorwerth; Llywelyn Fawr , prince of Gwynedd (patron)

Priors of Penmon

Bibliographical sources

20 Printed sources

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5 On-line sources

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Archival sources

The National Archives, 'Exchequer, King's Remembrancer, Clerical Subsidies- Penmon, 1379', (Document), (View website)

The National Archives, 'Agreement between Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and Maredudd ap Rhys', (Document), (View website)

Related articles on Monastic Wales

Remnants of Penmon Priory,
Who were the Regular Canons?, Dr Karen Stöber

Images of this site

Church of St Seiriol, Penmon

Church of St Seiriol, Penmon

Church of St Seiriol, Penmon

Church of St Seiriol, Penmon

Female figure, Penmon

Groundplan of Penmon, Cadw, Welsh Government (Crown Copyright)

Interior of the church of St Seiriol, Penmon

Poll tax return for Penmon, 1379

Tenth-century cross

Tower of the church of St Seiriol


Wall arcading in the south transept of St Seiriol's Church, Penmon

Wall arcading in the south transept of St Seiriol's Church, Penmon

Church of St Seiriol, Penmon

Anglesey, OS Grid:SH6303280729
View site details on COFLEIN (RCAHMW database)[new window]