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The Priory of Ecclesfield

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According to Dodsworth, (fn. 34) the church of Ecclesfield was given to the abbey of St. Wandrille (fn. 35) in Normandy, by Richard de Lovetot in the reign of Henry I. (fn. 36)

In Archbishop Melton's register is a confirmation in 1323, (fn. 37) which records that at a late visitation of the diocese the archbishop found that the Abbot and convent of St. Wandrille, O.S.B., in the diocese of Rouen, held the church of Ecclesfield, and that the perpetual vicar of the church, 'qui a quibusdam vocatus prior de Eglesfeld,' had indicated that Ecclesfield Church had been appropriated to the abbey by Innocent II and Gregory [ ], formerly popes of Rome, that Roger (sic) de 'Lovetoftes,' the patron, and at that time lord of Hallamshire, had given the church, and that Henry I had confirmed the gift. Archbishop Melton, at the instance of Hugh le Despenser, confirmed Ecclesfield Church to the abbey.

A few years earlier Archbishop Greenfield had also dealt with Ecclesfield Church. He cited on 24 July 1310 (fn. 38) the Abbot and convent of St. Wandrille to appear before him on 4 November following, as he had found, when recently holding a visitation of the diocese, that the church of Ecclesfield had a large number of parishioners, widely scattered, and that there was no vicarage in the church, or any person charged with cure of souls. The result was the ordination of a perpetual vicarage on 7 December, (fn. 39) presentable by the abbot and convent, and on the following 20 April, brother Robert de Bosco, prior, was instituted to the vicarage. (fn. 40) He resigned in 1328, (fn. 41) when he was described as lately

'rector seu custos, ac prior vulgariter nuncupatus.'

His successor John, dictus Fauvel, monk O.S.B., was admitted

'ad ecclesiam, seu prioratum de Ekelisfelt,'

(fn. 42) and when he died in 1347, Archbishop Zouch admitted Robert Gulielmus

'ad ecclesiam, vicariam, custodiam, seu prioratum, beate Marie de Eglesfeld.' (fn. 43)

Richard II in 1385 (fn. 44) gave to the Carthusian monastery of St. Anne near Coventry the advowson of the church of Ecclesfield in Yorkshire, lately belonging to the Abbot and convent of St. Wandrilie in Normandy, then in the king's hands, by virtue of a recovery of the same made in the court of the late King Edward, grandfather of the king. The priory of Ecclesfield seems to have had a shadowy existence. There was probably at no time a cell there in the stricter meaning of the word, and apparently the connexion with St. Wandrille was severed in the time of Edward III.

From: 'Alien houses', A History of the County of York: Volume 3 (1974), pp. 387-91.

URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.as...ery=hallamshire

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It's a lovely old building, and about five minutes walk from where I live. I know the people well who live there. It has secret passages and ghosts too. Full of atmosphere.

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