The Dependent Priories of Medieval English Monasteries

The Dependent Priories of Medieval English Monasteries

Martin Heale


Boydell Press



A history of the 140 or so daughter houses of English monasteries, considering the reasons for their foundation and their everyday life.
Although hundreds of dependent priories were founded across medieval Europe, they remain little studied and much misunderstood. Usually dismissed as just administrative units, many were in fact genuine religious houses set up for spiritual reasons. This study charts for the first time the history of the 140 or so daughter houses of English monasteries, which have always been overshadowed by the French cells in England, the so-called alien priories. The first part of the book examines the reasons for the foundation of these monasteries and the relations between dependent priories and their mother houses, bishops and patrons. The second part investigates everyday life in cells, the priories' interaction with their neighbours and their economic viability. The unusual pattern of dissolution of these houses is also revealed. The experience of daughter houses sheds a great deal of light on the world of the small religious house, and suggests that these shadowy institutions were far more central to medieval religion and society than has been appreciated.
MARTIN HEALE is Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of Liverpool.


July 2004
2 line illustrations
400 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion
ISBN: 9781843830542
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS018000, HIS037010
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A major contribution to this important and neglected segment of historiography. Maps, an impressive bibliography and an index give additional value to this significant volume. REVUE D'HISTOIRE ECCLESIASTIQUE
(The author) has expanded the scope of and enriched late medieval English monastic studies. SOUTHERN HISTORY
An extremely thorough and clear account of the history and everyday life of the hitherto little-studied area of English dependent priories. REVIEWS IN RELIGION AND THEOLOGY
Enhanced as it is by the inclusion of sophisticated figures, tables, maps and five detailed appendices, (this book) clearly embodies a radical reappraisal of the positioning, functions and significance of the dependent cells within English monastic history. (.) It may be regarded as something of a pioneering enterprise. HISTORY

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