Houses of Benedictine monks: Salburn priory in Standon

A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

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, 'Houses of Benedictine monks: Salburn priory in Standon', in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 4, (London, 1971) pp. 421-422. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Houses of Benedictine monks: Salburn priory in Standon", in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 4, (London, 1971) 421-422. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Houses of Benedictine monks: Salburn priory in Standon", A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 4, (London, 1971). 421-422. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

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The Benedictine priory of St. Michael of Salburn in Standon was a cell of the priory of Stoke by Clare. Between 1173 and 1178 (fn. 1) Richard de Clare Earl of Hertford granted to his monks of Stoke the hermitage of Standon which William the Anchorite built, that they might celebrate service there to the honour of St. Michael, St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist for him and his relatives, saving, however, the right, peace and quiet of William the Anchorite. (fn. 2)

It was apparently the earl's intention to establish a community of religious there, and the hermitage was probably for a time a cell of Stoke, for in the 13th century it was known as the house of St. Michael of Salburn, (fn. 3) and several grants (fn. 4) were made by various persons to the 'brothers of Salburn.' (fn. 5)

From the beginning of the 14th century there is no sign of any community here. In 1306 Roger de Castone, chaplain, was made brother of the Chapel of Salburn, (fn. 6) but as the expression 'house' never occurs again in this connexion the place had no doubt already become a free chapel, (fn. 7) and is so named in 1384 (fn. 8) when the king presented owing to the minority of the patron. The anchorite William had successors: Richard le Hermit (fn. 9) of Salburn obtained papal confirmation for certain gifts made to him (fn. 10); Brother John the hermit is mentioned in the Standon Court Rolls in 1357, (fn. 11) and John Benwell, hermit chaplain, received the hermitage of Salburn in 1398. (fn. 12)

The chapel was leased to different people by Stoke College (fn. 13) from 1471 to 1516, (fn. 14) at first for 30s. a year, later for 26s. and finally for 20s.

Wardens Or Chaplains Of Salburn

John de Salburn, chaplain, appointed 27 May 1269 (fn. 15)

Roger de Castone, chaplain, appointed 11 June 1306 (fn. 16)

Andrew, chaplain, occurs 1351 (fn. 17)

Robert de Lincoln, king's clerk, appointed 1384 (fn. 18)

Simon Bynham, chaplain, appointed 1392 (fn. 19)

John Benwell, hermit chaplain, appointed 1398 (fn. 20)

A seal of the 13th century, (fn. 21) in shape a pointed oval, shows St. Michael trampling on the dragon and piercing its head with a long cross. Legend: s'. DOMVS SBI MICAELIS D'SALEBVRNE.


  • 1. Richard succeeded his father Roger in the earldom in 1173 or 1174 (Dict. Nat. Biog. x, 397), and Gilbert Bishop of London, to whom the charter is addressed, died in 1178.
  • 2. Extract from the register of Stoke by Clare, printed in Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1658.
  • 3. B.M. Seals, xliii, 13; appointment of a warden of the house of Salburn 27 May 1269 (List of Muniments of Edmund Earl of March in Add. MS. 6041, fol. 73).
  • 4. These cannot be dated.
  • 5. Add. MS. 6041, fol. 73, no. 5-9, 11-14, 16-18.
  • 6. Ibid. no. 20.
  • 7. On 3 May 1325 the warden of the Chapel of Salburn asked to be relieved of his charge (ibid. no. 21), and on 16 May 1334 Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, appointed a warden of the Chapel of Salburn (ibid. no. 22).
  • 8. Cal. Pat. 1381-5, p. 488.
  • 9. A hermit of course was not the same as an anchorite, but the word is often used in the sense of anchorite.
  • 10. Add. MS. 6041, fol. 73, no. 7.
  • 11. Ct. R. portf. 178, no. 44.
  • 12. Cal. Pat. 1396-9, p. 416. But in this case the free chapel was apparently granted to a man who happened to be a hermit or anchorite. There was probably no longer a hermit in addition to the chaplain at Salburn.
  • 13. In 1415 the priory had been changed into a college of secular priests.
  • 14. Harl. Chart. 44 I 30-50.
  • 15. Add. MS. 6041, fol. 73, no. 19.
  • 16. He became 'brother in the chapel of Salburn' (ibid. no. 20).
  • 17. He is called chaplain of the chapel of Salburn (Ct. R. [Gen. Ser.], portf. 178, no. 42, m. 2 d.).
  • 18. Cal. Pat. 1381-5, p. 488.
  • 19. Ibid. 1391-6, p. 241. He was granted the chapel or hermitage of St. Michael, Salburn, on condition that he stayed there and celebrated service.
  • 20. Ibid. 1396-9, p. 416.
  • 21. B.M. Seals, xliii, 13.