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List of monastic houses in Bedfordshire facts for kids

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The following is a list of the monastic houses in Bedfordshire, England.

Alien houses are included, as are smaller establishments such as cells and notable monastic granges (particularly those with resident monks), and also camerae of the military orders of monks (Knights Templars and Knights Hospitaller). The numerous monastic hospitals per se are not included here unless at some time the foundation had, or was purported to have the status or function of an abbey, priory, friary or preceptor/commandery.

The name of the county is given where there is reference to an establishment in another county. Where the county has changed since the foundation's dissolution the modern county is given in parentheses, and in instances where the referenced foundation ceased to exist before the unification of England, the kingdom is given, followed by the modern county in parentheses.

Alien houses are included, as are smaller establishments such as cells and notable monastic granges (particularly those with resident monks), and also camerae of the military orders of monks (Knights Templars and Knights Hospitaller). Monastic hospitals are included where they had the status or function of an abbey, priory, friary or preceptor/commandery.

Abbreviations and key
Status of remains
Symbol Status
None Ruins
* Current monastic function
+ Current non-monastic ecclesiastic function (including remains incorporated into later structure)
^ Current non-ecclesiastic function (including remains incorporated into later structure) or redundant intact structure
$ Remains limited to earthworks etc.
# No identifiable trace of the monastic foundation remains
~ Exact site of monastic foundation unknown
Identification ambiguous or confused

Locations with names in italics indicate possible duplication (misidentification with another location) or non-existent foundations (either erroneous reference or proposed foundation never implemented) or ecclesiastical establishments with a monastic name but lacking actual monastic connection.

EH English Heritage
LT Landmark Trust
NT National Trust

Foundation Image Communities and provenance Formal name or dedication and alternative names References and location
Beadlow Priory $ Benedictine monks — from Milbrook
dependent on St Albans, Hertfordshire
founded 1140/6 by Henry d'Albini;
abandoned 1435, reverted to the Crown, the buildings falling into decay thereafter
Saint Mary Magdalen
Beaulieu Priory

52°02′01″N 0°23′23″W / 52.033479°N 0.389822°W / 52.033479; -0.389822 (Beadlow Priory)
Bedford Greyfriars # Franciscan Friars Minor, Conventual (under the custody of Oxford);
founded 1238 by Mabilea de Plateshull;
dissolved c.1539; granted to John Gostwyke
Saint Francis
52°08′20″N 0°28′29″W / 52.1388484°N 0.4748422°W / 52.1388484; -0.4748422 (Greyfriars, Bedford)
Bedford Abbey # Benedictine monks
founded before 971;
ceased to exist decades before 1066 (possibly destroyed in raids by the Danes 1010);

52°07′46″N 0°28′03″W / 52.1293916°N 0.4675412°W / 52.1293916; -0.4675412 (Bedford Abbey)

Bedford Priory + StPaulsChurchBedford.jpg secular canons collegiate
founded before 1066;
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded c.1165-6 by Simon Beauchamp;
transferred to new site at Newnham c.1080;
current parish church of St Paul built on site from 14th century

52°08′08″N 0°28′03″W / 52.1354637°N 0.4675627°W / 52.1354637; -0.4675627 (Bedford Priory)
Bushmead Priory ^ Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1195 by Hugh Beauchamp;
dissolved 1536; granted to Sir William Gascoign;
refectory incorporated into mansion built on site; (EH)
The Priory Church of Saint Mary, Bushmead
Bissemede Priory

52°14′01″N 0°22′03″W / 52.233480°N 0.367530°W / 52.233480; -0.367530 (Bushmead Priory)
Caldwell Priory # Augustinian Canons Regular — Holy Sepulchre
founded c.1154 (1153) (early in the reign of Henry II, or during that of Stephen) by Simon Basket (Barescote?), Alderman of Bedford, or a member of the Barescote family, or between 1199 and 1216 (during the reign of John): land granted by Robert of Houghton, confirmed by Henry III, or between 1199 and 1216 (during the reign of John): land granted by Robert of Houghton, confirmed by Henry III;
Augustinian Canons Regular before c.1280;
dissolved 1536; granted to Thomas Leigh c.1562
The Priory Church of Saint John the Baptist at Caldwell
Cauldwell Priory

52°07′46″N 0°28′36″W / 52.1294575°N 0.4767251°W / 52.1294575; -0.4767251 (Caldwell Priory)
Chicksands Priory ^ RAF Chicksands - - 382483.jpg Gilbertine Canons and Canonesses — double house
founded c.1150 (1147) by Pain de Beauchamp and his wife, Rose (Roese/Roais) or c.1154;
dissolved 1538; granted to London grocer Richard Snow;
cloisters incorporated into private house;
Crown Property 1936; in grounds of Military base to 1995;
restored by MOD 1997–8
Saint Mary
Chicksand Priory

52°02′27″N 0°21′59″W / 52.040896°N 0.366417°W / 52.040896; -0.366417 (Chicksands Priory)
Dunstable Blackfriars # Dominican Friars (under the Visitation of Cambridge)
founded 1259 at the invitation of King Henry III and his consort;
dissolved before 8 May 1539

51°52′59″N 0°31′17″W / 51.8831074°N 0.5214858°W / 51.8831074; -0.5214858 (Dunstable Friary)
Dunstable Priory + DunstablePriory.JPG Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1131 (or before 1125?) by Henry I;
dissolved 1540; granted to Sir Leonard Chamberlayne
nave of church now in parochial use
The Priory Church of Saint Peter, Dunstable
Dunstaple Priory

51°53′10″N 0°31′04″W / 51.886026°N 0.517653°W / 51.886026; -0.517653 (Dunstable Priory)
Elstow Abbey + St Mary and Helena Parish Church, Elstow - - 823352.jpg Benedictine nuns
founded 1078 by Judith, niece of William the Conqueror;
dissolved 1539; granted to Sir Humphrey Radcliff c.1553;
nave now in use as parish church
The Abbey Church of Saint Mary and Saint Helena, Elstow 52°06′54″N 0°28′10″W / 52.114947°N 0.469502°W / 52.114947; -0.469502 (Elstow Abbey)
Grovebury Priory #,
Leighton Buzzard
Fontévrault Benedictine monks and nuns, double house
alien house: cell dependent on Fontévrault
manor granted after 1164 by Henry II;
founded after 1189;
conventual house possibly never properly established, becoming a chapel with resident chaplains and manor with rental tenants;
occasional royal residence;
dissolved 1414;
farmhouse built on site
La Grave Priory;
Leighton Buzzard Priory;
Grovesbury Priory

51°54′14″N 0°39′35″W / 51.9037717°N 0.6598234°W / 51.9037717; -0.6598234 (Grovebury Priory)
Hardwick Preceptory # Knights Hospitaller
founded before(?) 1279
dissolved before(?) 1489

52°05′05″N 0°29′53″W / 52.0847015°N 0.498054°W / 52.0847015; -0.498054 (Hardwick Preceptory)
Harrold Priory # Augustinian Canonesses — Arroasian under protection and guidance of (possibly lay) brothers (see immediately below) alien house: daughter house of Arrouaise, Normandy
founded 1138 by Sampson le Forte;
ceded to Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire 1177
Augustinian Canonesses
became denizen: independent from 1188;
dissolved 1536; granted to William Lord Parr
site occupied by farmhouse and a mansion named 'Harrold Hall', built 1608–1610
The Priory Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Peter, Harrold
Harwood Priory

52°11′58″N 0°36′20″W / 52.1994534°N 0.6054738°W / 52.1994534; -0.6054738 (Harrold Priory)
Harrold Priory Cell ~ Augustinian Canons Regular — Arroasian (or possibly lay-brothers) attached to the nunnery (see immediately above)
founded c.1136-8;
dissolved before 1181
Leighton Buzzard Cell # Cistercian monks
cell or grange? dependent on Woburn;
founded before 1159

51°54′57″N 0°39′46″W / 51.9159317°N 0.6628825°W / 51.9159317; -0.6628825 (Leighton Buzzard Cell)
Markyate Priory See List of monastic houses in Hertfordshire
Melchbourne Preceptory Knights Hospitaller
founded before 1176 by Lady Alice de Claremonte, Countess of Pembroke;
dissolved 1486; held by the prior of England from 1489, de facto losing its status as a preceptory;
granted to John, Earl of Bedford 1550/1;
restored to the Knights by Queen Mary
Melchbourne Priory;
Melchburn Preceptory;
Mechelburn Preceptory

52°16′17″N 0°29′33″W / 52.2712563°N 0.4924536°W / 52.2712563; -0.4924536 (Melchbourne Preceptory)
Millbrook Priory # Benedictine monks
priory cell dependent on St Albans, Hertfordshire;
founded 1097-1119: church granted to St Albans by Nigel de Waste;
transferred to (/merged with) Beadlow 1143;
dissolved 1140–6
Saint Michael
Millbrook Cell

52°02′10″N 0°31′26″W / 52.0359803°N 0.5239105°W / 52.0359803; -0.5239105 (Millbrook Priory)
Newnham Priory # Augustinian Canons Regular — from Bedford Priory (collegiate church of St Paul)
(community founded at Bedford c.1165)
transferred here c.1180;
dissolved 1540; granted to Urian Brereton 1540/1
Saint Paul
Newenham Priory;
Newenham by Bedford Priory

52°08′27″N 0°26′42″W / 52.140758°N 0.445118°W / 52.140758; -0.445118 (Newnham Priory (approx loc)) (approx)
Pulloxhill Grange Augustinian Canons Regular
grange of Dunstable;
dissolved; granted to Sir William Pagett 1547

51°59′40″N 0°27′12″W / 51.994315°N 0.453444°W / 51.994315; -0.453444 (Pulloxhill Grange)
Ruxox Cell Augustinian Canons Regular
cell/chapel for retired brothers from Dunstable;
founded before 1189;
dissolved after 1290
chapel dedicated to St Nicholas
52°00′45″N 0°28′32″W / 52.012428°N 0.475647°W / 52.012428; -0.475647 (Ruxox Cell)
Turvey Abbey | Benedictine nuns
adjacent to Benedictine monastery
The Priory of Our Lady of Peace 52°09′42″N 0°37′06″W / 52.161705°N 0.618389°W / 52.161705; -0.618389 (Turvey Abbey)
Turvey monastery | Benedictine monks
founded 1980; extant;
adjacent to Benedictine Abbey
The Monastery of Christ our Saviour

52°09′41″N 0°37′09″W / 52.161251°N 0.619199°W / 52.161251; -0.619199 (Turvey monastery)
Warden Abbey # Warden Abbey (428017).jpg Cistercian monks
founded 1136 by Walter Espec;
dissolved (surrendered by the abbot and monks) 4 December 1538;
Elizabethan house built on site (of which exist only remnants)
renovated 1974; (LT)
The Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Old Warden
St Mary de Sartis Abbey;
Old Warden Abbey;
Wardon Abbey

52°04′54″N 0°22′00″W / 52.081749°N 0.366583°W / 52.081749; -0.366583 (Warden Abbey)
Woburn Abbey # WoburnAbbey02.JPG Cistercian monks
daughter house of Fountains, Yorkshire
founded 28 May 1145 by Hugh de Bolebec;
dissolved 1538; granted to John Lord Russell 1547/8
site now occupied by a mansion, estate and safari park
The Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Woburn Abbey

51°58′58″N 0°35′43″W / 51.982858°N 0.595365°W / 51.982858; -0.595365 (Woburn Abbey)
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