Monastic Wales.

Event detail for site: Haverfordwest

pre 1210: Foundation

The priory may have been founded as early as 1180 but was likely established 1203x1210.

Little is now known of the origins of the house since the only document pertaining to its foundation is a royal charter of 1331 confirming Robert fitz Richard's (d. 1213) gifts to the priory.
It was unlikely founded before 1188 since Gerald of Wales makes no mention if it in his account yet refers to the castle.

Origins: According to Cowley (The Monastic Order in South Wales), the foundation of the priory may have been associated with the memory of the hermit monk, Caradog, whose hermitage was near the priory. Whereas Robert's grandfather, Thancard of Haverford, persecuted Caradog, his father supported the hermit.
Location: The house was situated on the west bank of the River Cleddau, on the outskirts of the prosperous mercantile town of Haverfordwest. The area was in low-lying marshland and vulnerable to flooding. This meant that extensive preparations were required before building could begin. The site was drained and the area raised.

People associated with this event

Robert fitz Richard (Robert of Haverford), lord of Haverfordwest (founder)

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Medieval Religious Houses, England and Wales, ed. R. Neville Hadcock and David Knowles (Harlow, 1971) p. 159

Monasticon Anglicanum: a History of the Abbies and other Monasteries, Hospitals, Frieries, and Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, with their Dependencies, in England and Wales, 6 in 8 vols, ed. Sir William Dugdale, revised J. Caley, H. Ellis, B. Bandinel (London, 1817-1830) vol. 6, pp. 444-5

Binns, Alison, Dedications of Religious Houses in England and Wales 1066-1216, Studies in the History of Medieval Religion, 1 (Boydell and Brewer: Woodbridge, 1989) p. 135

Cooper, R., Abbeys and Priories of Wales (Swansea, 1992) pp. 59-60

Cowley, F. G., The Monastic Order in South Wales 1066-1349 (Cardiff, 1977) pp. 33-34

Moore, James, Concise descriptions of Ewenny Priory, Neath Abbey ... Haverfordwest Priory (1788)

Rahbula, Ernest A. R., 'Further excavations at Haverfordwest Priory', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 79 (1924), pp. 334-339

Rees, S. E., Haverfordwest Priory, Welsh Historic Monuments (Cardiff, 1999)

Rees, Sian E., 'Haverfordwest Priory: an interim report', Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society, 2 (1986), pp. 19-23

Robinson, David M. and Platt, Colin, Strata Florida Talley Abbey, Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments (rev. edn; Cardiff, 1998) p. 7

Web links (open in new window)

Cadw - Haverfordwest Priory (View website)

Other events in the history of this site

pre 1210Foundation - The priory may have been founded as early as 1180 but was likely established 1203x1210. [11 sources]
1210x1230Building work - The church and main claustral buildings were constructed in the early thitteenth century. [1 sources]
1284Visitation - Visitation conducted by Archbishop Pecham. [3 sources]
c.1291Wealth - The Taxatio Ecclesiastica assessed the priory's net income as £17 6s 8d. [1 sources]
1381Clerical poll tax - Payments required [1 sources][1 archives]
c.1450Prosperity - At this time the house was flourishing. [1 sources]
1534Act of Supremacy - William Barlow was prior in 1534 and signed the Act of Supremacy, acknowledging Henry VIII's authority over the pope. [2 sources]
c.1535Wealth - According to the Valor Ecclesiastica the priory's estimated wealth was £133 11s 1d. [2 sources]
1537Dissolution - The priory was surveyed at the beginning of October 1536 and dissolved under the 1536 Act of Suppression on 19 February 1537.
 [4 sources]