Alien houses: Priory of Corsham

Page 394

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



A charter by which the church of Corsham was given to the abbey of Marmoutier-les-Tours (Indre-et-Loire) in the time of Henry I was confirmed in 1336. (fn. 1) During the 13th century the abbey had a cell at Corsham, for a prior was mentioned though not named in 1201, (fn. 2) and in 1237 the monks of Marmoutier were allowed to have 16 oxen, 5 cows, and 1 bull in the royal pastures there. (fn. 3) A writing of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who lived from 1227 to 1272, was witnessed by Sir Gilbert, then Prior of Corsham. (fn. 4) However, by 1294, when the alien priories were taken into the king's hands, Corsham had ceased to be a priory. Lands there, with stock and farm implements valued at £11 15s. 8d., were restored to the Prior of Tickford (Bucks.), (fn. 5) and there was apparently no dwelling-place for monks at Corsham. From this date the Cluniac Prior of Tickford, which was a cell of Marmoutier, (fn. 6) administered the abbey's possessions in Corsham until the end of the 14th century, except when they were in the king's hands. Like other property of alien religious, the church was held for a time by Queen Joan, and it was ultimately given by Henry VI to King's College, Cambridge. (fn. 7)


  • 1. Cal. Pat. 1334–8, 313.
  • 2. Cur. Reg. R. i, 397, 426; ii, 15.
  • 3. Close Rolls, 1234–7, 501.
  • 4. Cal. Pat. 1330–4, 311.
  • 5. E 106/8/26.
  • 6. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 360–3.
  • 7. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. 101, 149.