Monk Bretton Priory

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Monk Bretton Priory

West Riding

Remains of Monk Bretton Priory beyond the cloister
Grid reference: SE376066
Location: 53°33’14"N, 1°26’18"W
Village: Lundwood
Owned by: Barnsley Council
(in the care of English Heritage)
Website: Monk Bretton Priory

Monk Bretton Priory is a ruined mediæval priory located in the village of Lundwood, and close to Monk Bretton in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and now in the care of English Heritage.


The monastery was founded by Adam Fitswane in 1154 as the Priory of St. Mary Magdelene of Lund. In the course of time the priory took the name of the nearby village of Bretton to be commonly known as Monk Bretton Priory. It was a house of the Cluniac order.

John de Birthwaite was Prior of Monk Bretton in 1350. In that year lands at lands at Fishlake, Monk Bretton, Moseley and Woolley were conveyed to him by Sir William de Notton, a powerful local landowner, who was later Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, and his wife Isabel. The purpose of the grant was to build a chantry chapel at Woolley Church. Notton directed that prayers were be said for the souls of Sir William and Lady Isabel, their children, and also King Edward III, Queen Philippa of Hainault and their children. The date of the grant suggests that Notton was giving thanks for England's deliverance from the first outbreak of the Black Death.

The monastery closed on 30 November 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the site passed into the ownership of the Blithman family. In 1580 the land was again sold to George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury who gave the estate to his fourth son Henry on his marriage to Elizabeth Rayner.

Excavations concentrating on the church and cloister took place on the site in the 1920s which were published by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and other largely unrecorded digging by the Ministry of Works took place during the 1950s. More recently the site has been the focus of a survey and excavation project run by the University of Sheffield.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Monk Bretton Priory)


  • Walker, John William Abstracts of the Chartularies of the Priory of Monkbretton Cambridge University Press reissue 2013