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Abergavenny (Priory)

also known as: Abergavenny

Order: Benedictine

Abergavenny takes its name from its situation at the confluence of the River Gavenny and the Usk.
[Gerald of Wales, Journey Through Wales, p. 108]

Abergavenny was founded by Hamelin of Barham (Ballon) as an alien cell of St Vincent, Le Mans. It was later raised to conventual status but was dissolved with the suppression of the alien priories.
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Dedicated to: St Mary Medieval Diocese: Llandaff
Affiliated to: St Vincent, Le Mans, Normandy (mother-house)
Lordship at foundation: Abergavenny
Access: Open to public (St Mary's Parish Church)
Owned by: Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Main 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 source]
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 source]
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 source]
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 source]
1343Allegations - It was rumoured that the prior of Abergavenny had fled to France taking with him the monastery’s jewels and money. [1 source]
c.1405Destruction - Abergavenny was badly hit by Owain Glyn Dŵr’s revolt and like many other houses suffered devastation. [1 source]
c.1417Rejuvenation - Robert Eton, a monk of Christ Church Canterbury, succeeded William as prior and successfully restored Abergavenny’s fortunes.  [1 source]
1428Papal indulgence - Maintenance work was financed through a papal indulgence. [1 source]
1441Change in status - Abergavenny becomes a denizen priory. [1 source]
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 archive]
1536Dissolution - The house was surveyed 7 June and dissolved 5-6 September. [4 sources]
+ 12 minor events. Show minor events

People associated with this site

Adam of Orleton , bishop (Visitation)

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

John of Hastings , second Lord Hastings (patron)

Priors of Abergavenny

William ap Thomas , Sir (Patron)

William de Braose (Briouze) , magnate (patron)

de Braose (Braose) (burial)

Bibliographical sources

29 Printed sources

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7 On-line sources

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Related articles on Monastic Wales

Remnants of Abergavenny Priory,
Who were the Benedictines?, Professor Janet Burton

Images of this site

Effigies of Sir William ap Thomas and Gwladys

Effigy of John, 2nd Baron of Hastings

North side of the Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny

Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny

Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny

Restored Chancel of the Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny

The Annunciation, from the tomb of Sir William ap Thomas and Gwladys

Tithe Barn, Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny

North side of the Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny

Monmouthshire, OS Grid:SO30091411
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