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Canons Ashby Priory
Canons Ashby Priory Front.jpg
West front of the priory church of St Mary
Canons Ashby Priory is located in Northamptonshire
Canons Ashby Priory
Location in Northamptonshire
Monastery information
Order Augustinian
Established by 1151
Disestablished 1535
Founder(s) Stephen la Leye
Heritage designation Grade II* listed
Designated date 18 January 1963
Location Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, England
Coordinates 52°08′59″N 1°09′21″W / 52.1496°N 1.1558°W / 52.1496; -1.1558
Visible remains priory church

Canons Ashby Priory was an Augustinian priory at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, England.

Canons Ashby Priory - Stained Glass
Stained glass window in the priory church


The Priory was founded by Stephen la Leye on a site to the south of the present church between 1147 and 1151 in the reign of Henry II.

In 1253 the Augustinians were granted a licence to dig the Norwell, which still exists north of the present church, to supply water to the priory.

In 1537 after the Dissolution of the Monasteries the Crown granted the priory and its estates to Sir Francis Bryan, a close ally of Henry VIII. Bryan held the estate for only about a year before selling it in 1538 to Sir John Cope, a wealthy Banbury lawyer. Sir John's daughter Elizabeth inherited what is thought to have been the priory farmhouse [wrong – Wilkyns farm was part of John Dryden's inheritance. Copes Ashbie – across the road – was inherited by Elizabeth's brother, who died early leaving his sons as Wards of the Dryden family][contradictory]. In 1551 she married John Dryden, who extended the building to form the earliest parts of Canons Ashby House.

Part of the building survives: the Church of England parish church of St Mary dates from about 1250 and this, together with Canons Ashby House, is now owned by the National Trust. Its power and size can be judged by its outlying buildings which cover a large area of the surrounding countryside. The remains of the priory's hospitalium survive as the monastic building centred on the parish church of Maidford, about 5 miles (8 km) away.


  • Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet and other members of his family
  • Sir John Dryden, 2nd Baronet
  • Sir Robert Dryden, 3rd Baronet (c. 1638–1708)
  • Sir Erasmus Henry Dryden, 5th Baronet
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