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Beddgelert (Priory)

also known as: Bethkelert(d); Bekelert; 'the priory of the Valley St Mary of Snowdon(ia)'

Order: Augustinian Canons

Beddgelert Priory was founded by or in association with the princes of Gwynedd on an early medieval religious site. Beddgelert became Augustinian at some point before 1240, probably between 1210 and 1230, by which time it was under the patronage of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (the Great), prince of Gwynedd (d. 1240). Recruitment and patronage were seemingly drawn mainly from the locality and Stöber, The Regular Canons in Wales, suggests that this likely contributed to the shaping of a local identity at Beddgelert. Little is now known about the early history of the house for the foundation documents were destroyed in a fire of 1283.show details of standing remains

Dedicated to: Mary Medieval Diocese: Bangor
Lordship at foundation: Gwynedd
Access: Public access to the parish church of St Mary Beddgelert
Owned by: Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Main events in the history of this site

c.1200Foundation - Beddgelert Priory was founded by or in association with the princes of Gwynedd on an early medieval religious site. [7 sources]
pre 1240Patronage - Llywelyn the Great gave the community the land of Cynnddelw Llwyd of Pennant. [1 source]
1246-1255Patronage - Owain ap Gruffudd gave the community land in Anglesey. [1 source]
1258Prior as witness - The prior of Beddgelert, along with the prior of Penmon and the abbots of Bardsey and Aberconwy witnessed Llywelyn ap Gruffudd’s charter pledging his protection to Maredudd ap Rhys, in return for the latter’s homage. [2 sources][1 archive]
1269 (11 March )Exchange of lands - Llywelyn ap Gruffudd made an exchange of lands with the prior and convent of Beddgelert (at Caernarfon), whereby the community acquired lands nearer the priory in exchange for those that were more remote. [3 sources][1 archive]
1281Covenant - In December 1281 a covenant was made at the priory on Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's behalf. [2 sources]
1283Fire - Fire damaged the monastery and destroyed documentation; hence early records are now lost. [2 sources]
1284 (Nov)Compensation - Beddgelert was awarded £50 compensation by Edward I for damages sustained during the war of 1282-1283. [2 sources]
c.1286Nomenclature - From this time the house was referred to as 'the priory of the Valley St Mary of Snowdon(ia)' [2 sources]
1286Inspeximus of the priory's charters and grant of indulgence to those who help the community - In April 1286 Bishop Anian of Bangor issued an inspeximus of the priory's charters and offered an indulgence to all who aided the community. [2 sources][1 archive]
1289Disputed territory - The community lost its lands in Pennany Gwernorgan, that had been granted to them by Dafydd ap Llywelyn (d. 1246). [1 source]
c.1291Wealth - The Taxatio Ecclesiastica assessed the priory's revenues at £7 4s 2d. [2 sources]
c.1300Financial problems - The priory was one of several Welsh houses to seek papal indulgence for help with its financial problems. [1 source]
1350Forged documents - A legal case in 1350 found that the prior and convent of Beddgelert had forged documents supporting their claim to exemptions. [1 source]
1379Clerical poll tax - Payment required  [1 source][1 archive]
1399Financial problems - The prior and convent petitioned Rome for papal indulgence on account of their financial problems. [2 sources]
c.1400Visitation - In the early fifteenth century the bishop of St David’s conducted a visitation of the house.  [1 source]
c.1406Glyn Dŵr rebellion - The prior of Beddgelert (Matheus)was amongst those who supported the rebel, Owain Glyn Dŵr, and was accordingly outlawed by Henry IV.  [2 sources]
1432Petition for help following fire - In 1432, the prior of Beddgelert requested papal assistance with repairing the fabric of the church which had been damaged by fire. [3 sources]
c.1500Decline - It was alleged that there were no resident canons in the priory - they simply showed up to the priory to sign leases.  [2 sources]
1501-2Internal dispute - Prior Dafydd Conway's predecessor, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, sued the prior for arrears in paying him the pension he had been awarded several years earlier. [1 source]
1509-1510Fines levied - In 1509 the prior was fined 10s for failing to attend the Augustinian general chapter; the following year he was fined 11s for the same offence. [1 source]
c.1535Wealth - The Valor Ecclesiastica assessed the house's income at £70 3s 8d. [1 source]
1536Dissolution - At the Suppression there were three canons and nine 'religious men' at the house.  [4 sources]
+ 22 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Dafydd ap Llywelyn , prince of Gwynedd (benefactor)

Gruffudd ap Llywelyn , ruler in Wales (benefactor)

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

Llywelyn ap Gruffudd , Prince of Wales (benefactor)

Owain Cyfeiliog; Owain ap Gruffudd , ruler of S. Powys (benefactor)

Priors of Beddgelert

Bibliographical sources

24 Printed sources

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1 On-line sources

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Archival sources

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

The National Archives, 'Agreement between Llywelyn, prince of Wales and lord of Snowden, and the prior and convent of Beddge', (Document), (View website)

The National Archives, 'Chancery: Ecclesiastical Miscellanea: letters patent of Bishop Anian of Bangor re Beddgelert Priory', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Wales, 'Conventual seal of Beddgelert', (Document), (View website)

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

RCAHMW, 'Report on achaeological investigations at St Mary's Church, Beddgelert, by Margaret Griffith.', (Document), (View website)

Related articles on Monastic Wales

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

Images of this site

Clerical poll tax return Beddgelert 1379

Exterior of Beddgelert

Exterior of the Priory Church of St Mary, Beddgelert


Exterior of the Priory Church of St Mary, Beddgelert

Exterior of the Priory Church of St Mary, Beddgelert

Exterior of the priory church, Beddgelert


Interior of the former priory church, Beddgelert

Interior of the former priory church, Beddgelert

The former priory church at Beddgelert

Exterior of the Priory Church of St Mary, Beddgelert

Gwynedd, OS Grid:SH59094804
View site details on COFLEIN (RCAHMW database)[new window]


 
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