Alien houses: Priory of St Cross, Isle of Wight

Page 225

A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1903.

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The small priory of the Holy Cross at the north end of the town of Newport, Isle of Wight, was a cell of the Benedictine abbey of Tiron. It was founded about 1120. On 30 May, 1147, a bull of Pope Eugenius III. confirmed the church of the Holy Cross in the Isle of Wight to the abbey of Tiron, and again a bull of about the time of Pope Alexander III. confirmed to Stephen, abbot of Tiron, inter alia, the church of the Holy Cross of the Isle in the diocese of Winchester. (fn. 1)

A survey of alien priories of the year 1295 names, among the possessions of St. Cross, a horse for the prior, 5 heifers, a two-year-old colt and filly, 2 bulls, 10 oxen, 6 cows, 6 bugles, 2 calves, I boar, 5 sows, 4 pigs and 14 young pigs. (fn. 2)

In 1391 the annual values of the temporalities of this priory were assessed at £10 3s. 8d. With other alien houses it was seized in time of war with France and administered by the Crown. (fn. 3)

In May 1369 the priory's income was sequestrated by Bishop Wykeham in consequence of the dilapidated condition of the buildings. (fn. 4)

On 20 April, 1390, licence was granted by the Crown to the abbot and convent of Tiron to alienate the advowson and patronage of the church or chapel of St. Cross in the Isle of Wight, called the priory of St. Cross, and all lands and tenements of the said convent to the warden and scholars of Winchester College. The conveyance to the college is dated 1 September, 1391.

Soon after the priory came into the hands of the college a considerable sum was spent on the repairs of the hall, the chamber, and the chapel of St. Cross and on a new waterwheel. (fn. 5)


  • 1. Round's Cal. of French Documents, i. 358.
  • 2. Stone's Arch. Antiq. of I. W. ii. 197.
  • 3. Cal. of the Patent Rolls, passim Edw. I. and III.
  • 4. Winton. Epis. Reg., Wykeham, iii. f. 12b.
  • 5. Kirby's Annals of Winchester College, 150-1.