Monastic Wales.

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Monmouth (Priory)

also known as: St Mary, Monmouth

Order: Benedictine

Wihenoc (Guiethenauc), lord of Monmouth, granted the church of St Cadoc and other endowments to the abbey of St Florent de Saumur (Anjou) to establish an alien priory. This led to the establishment of Monmouth Priory.
During monastic occupation the nave of the priory church served as the parish church and was divided from the monks' choir by a screen. show details of standing remains

Dedicated to: Blessed Virgin Mary; St Florent Medieval Diocese: Llandaff
Affiliated to: St Florent de Saumur (mother-house)
Lordship at foundation: Hereford
Access: Public access to the parish church of St Mary
Owned by: Representative Body of the Church in Wales; community building

Main events in the history of this site

c.1080Foundation - William the Conqueror confirmed the endowment of the priory before his death in 1086.  [1 source]
1101Dedication - The church was dedicated by Bishop Hervey of Bangor. [1 source]
c.1200Proposal to found a daughter-house - Walter de Lacy (d. 1241)apparently took steps to found a daughter-house of Monmouth c. 1200, but his plans did not seemingly come to fruition. [1 source][1 archive]
1234Compensation - The community sustained damages during the war between Henry III and Richard Marshall but was duly compensated. [2 sources]
1264Financial problems - Geoffrey Moreteau, a capable monk of St Florent, was sent to Monmouth take over as prior of the house, in the hope that he could reverse the priory’s financial problems. [2 sources]
1279Indulgences - In an attempt to alleviate the priory's financial burdens Bishop Thomas de Cantilupe of Hereford issued an indulgence to anyone who visited the priory church of St Mary’s and recited prayers there. [1 source]
1291Wealth - According to the Taxatio Ecclesiastica of 1291 Monmouth had at this time 480 acres of arable land and the priory’s assized rents totalled £14 6s 8d with the revenue from its courts (‘curial revenue’) totalling 10s.  [2 sources]
1309Sanctuary infringed - A band of armed Welshmen broke into the church, dragged out an escapee from the castle and then murdered him.  [1 source]
1315Impoverishment - At this time the priory was so greatly impoverished that the abbot of St Florent doubted he would be able to maintain a full convent at Monmouth. [1 source]
1354Diocesan rights - A case was made for episcopal visitation and procuration.  [1 source]
1398Papal indulgence - Boniface IX granted an indulgence to pilgrims who visited the priory on great festivals, as well as on the feast day of the dedication and on the feast of the relics. [1 source]
1403Destruction - The priory suffered losses during the Owain Glyn Dŵr rebellion. [1 source]
1415Independence - Monmouth achieved independent status and continued as a denizen priory. [2 sources]
c.1531Deprivation - In November 1531 reports of the priory's ruinous state were noted and an investigation was undertaken by the bishop of Hereford. [2 sources]
c.1536Dissolution - The exact date of the priory's suppression is not now known but it was certainly not before the start of June 1536 when the house was still functioning. [6 sources]
+ 13 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Hervey , bishop of Bangor (dedicates church)

Priors of Monmouth

Walter de Lacy , magnate (patron)

Wihenoc of Monmouth (de Monemue) (founder)

Bibliographical sources

25 Printed sources

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3 On-line sources

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Archival sources

The National Archives, 'Exchequer: King's Remembrancer Ancient Deeds, Series D: proposed foundation of d'house (Monmouth)', (Document), (View website)

Related articles on Monastic Wales

Remnants of Monmouth Priory,
Who were the Benedictines?, Professor Janet Burton

Images of this site

Priory Church of St Mary, Monmouth



Tiles, Church of St Mary, Monmouth

Monmouthshire, OS Grid:SO50891297
View site details on COFLEIN (RCAHMW database)[new window]