Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: Abergavenny

c. 1100: Foundation

Abergavenny was founded c. 1087/1100 by Hamelin of Barham, as an alien cell of St Vincent, Le Mans, of which Hamelin was a benefactor.

Hamelin granted the chapel of his castle at Abergavenny and lands to the abbey of St Vincent, and placed his charter of endowment on the altar of the abbey church to formalise the agreement.
Hamelin’s endowment included land for the monks’ dwellings, gardens, orchards and vineyards as well as a bourg, oven, water for the mill and rights to fish in his waters, a church with appurtenances and land for ten ploughs. He thus set up the priory as a self-sufficient unit. Soon thereafter Hamelin and his brother, Winibald, supplemented this endowment with churches and tithes in Upper Gwent, the church of St Helen and part of a wood, as well as various churches in England (Great Cheverel and Great Sutton in Wiltshire, the church of Luto, Tidworth (Hampshire), Aust (Glos)), and tithes in England and Wales. But the monks considered Hamelin rather than Winibald as their founder, and named in the genealogy of Abergavenny’s founders.

People associated with this event

Hamelin de Barham; Hamelin de Ballon (Balun / Baeluns) , lord of Much Marcle, Herefordshire; lord of Abergavenny (founder)

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Cowley, F. G., The Monastic Order in South Wales 1066-1349 (Cardiff, 1977) pp. 12, 13

Graham, Rose, 'Four alien priories in Monmouthshire', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 35 (1930) p. 104

Other events in the history of this site

c.1100Foundation - Abergavenny was founded c. 1087/1100 by Hamelin of Barham, as an alien cell of St Vincent, Le Mans, of which Hamelin was a benefactor.  [2 sources]
1154x89Change in status - Abergavenny was raised to conventual status. [2 sources]
c.1204Contact with mother-house - Following King John’s loss of Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Touraine to the king of France, relations and communications between Abergavenny and its mother-house were impeded and visitation was more irregular. [1 sources]
c.1291Wealth - According to the figures compiled for the Taxatio Ecclesiastica, Abergavenny had an estimated income of £51 17s 10 ½ d, held 241 acres and held two mills.  [2 sources]
c.1294Custody - Shortly after the outbreak of war Abergavenny was seized by the Crown as an alien priory.  [1 sources]
1320Visitation - Visitation by Bishop Adam de Orleton of Hereford who was concerned with the state of monastic observance that he witnessed. [4 sources]
pre 1325Community - At some point before his death, John Hastings, the patron of Abergavenny, arranged that the French monks of the priory should be replaced with Englishmen.  [1 sources]
1339Custody - The prior of Abergavenny was allowed to retain custody of his house for the fine of £20 and an annual payment of £8.  [1 sources]
1343Allegations - It was rumoured that the prior of Abergavenny had fled to France taking with him the monastery’s jewels and money. [1 sources]
c.1405Destruction - Abergavenny was badly hit by Owain Glyn Dŵr’s revolt and like many other houses suffered devastation. [1 sources]
c.1417Rejuvenation - Robert Eton, a monk of Christ Church Canterbury, succeeded William as prior and successfully restored Abergavenny’s fortunes.  [1 sources]
1428Papal indulgence - Maintenance work was financed through a papal indulgence. [1 sources]
1441Change in status - Abergavenny becomes a denizen priory. [1 sources]
1534 Act of Supremacy - On 12 September the prior, William Marley, acknowledged royal supremacy. [2 sources]
c.1535Wealth - On the eve of the Dissolution Abergavenny’s income was assessed for the Valor Ecclesiasticus at £129.  [3 sources][1 archives]
1536Dissolution - The house was surveyed 7 June and dissolved 5-6 September. [4 sources]