Alien houses: The priory of Long Bennington

Page 242

A History of the County of Lincoln: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1906.

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The church of Long Bennington was presented by Ralf de Fougères to the abbey of Savigny in 1163, (fn. 1) and the grant was confirmed by King Henry II (fn. 2) and Pope Alexander III; (fn. 3) but the monks of Savigny had had some right in the church before this time, and a long dispute between them and the convent of St. Serge, Angers, had been brought to a conclusion during the lifetime of St. Bernard. (fn. 4) But it seems improbable that any priory was built in connexion with the church until the end of the twelfth century. (fn. 5)

There was certainly a monk (or monks) at Long Bennington in 1275, (fn. 6) and there is mention of a warden or keeper of the house, appointed from Savigny, on the Patent Rolls of 1319 and 1323. (fn. 7) Later this warden received the title of prior, (fn. 8) but it seems unlikely that he had any companions; the notices from 1323 onwards do not seem to imply the existence of more than one monk. Yet the revenue of the house would have supported more; it was of greater value than any other alien cell in Lincolnshire.

The priory was taken into the king's hands, and restored again, in 1339-40, (fn. 9) and no doubt at other times during the war. In 1401 the priory was being farmed for the king by the prior, Michael Rogers, and one Michael Montayn. (fn. 10) In 1462 it was granted, with other property of aliens, for the support of the priory of Mountgrace in Yorkshire. (fn. 11)

In 1275 the monks of Long Bennington held four carucates of land in the vill, worth £16, and the church, worth £40. (fn. 12) In 1380 the revenue of the priory was valued at £48 3s. 8d. clear; in 1384 at £51 8s. (fn. 13)

Priors of Long Bennington

Robert, (fn. 14) occurs 1319

Michael Rogers, (fn. 15) occurs 1401 and 1403


  • 1. Round, Cal. of Doc. France, i, 305.
  • 2. Ibid. 306.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Round, Cal. of Doc. France, i, 296.
  • 5. The church of Long Bennington is named throughout these documents, but never the monks of that place.
  • 6. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1024.
  • 7. Pat. 13 Edw. II, m. 43; 16 Edw. II, pt. i, m. 5.
  • 8. Close, 11 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 33.
  • 9. Ibid. 13 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 34; 16 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 11.
  • 10. Acts of the Privy Council (Rec. Com.), i, 190-3, and Pat. 2 Hen. IV, pt. iii, m. 7.
  • 11. Pat. 1 Edw. IV, pt. vi, m. 14, 13. It was first granted in 1432; Pat. 9 Hen. V, pt. ii, m. 19.
  • 12. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1024.
  • 13. Add. MS. 6164, fols. 370, 480.
  • 14. Pat. 13 Edw. II, m. 43.
  • 15. Acts of the Privy Council (Rec. Com.), i, 190-3; Pat. 2 Hen. IV, pt. iii, m. 7. This priory should be reckoned amongst Cistercian cells, as the 'Order of Savigny' was finally absorbed into that of Citeaux.