Alien houses: The priory of Horstead

Page 463

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

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William Rufus granted the manor of Horstead to the nuns of the abbey of the Holy Trinity, Caen, which had been founded by his mother, Queen Maud. The gift of Horstead was confirmed by Henry I and again by Henry II.

In 1291 the taxation roll shows that the abbess of Caen held temporalities in Horstead to the annual value of £20 10s. 6½d., whilst smaller amounts in six other parishes brought up the total income in Norfolk to £25 2s. 5½d. In addition to this there was a pension or portion from the church of Horstead of £3 13s. 4d.

Horstead was amongst the dissolved alien priories of 1414, when it came to the crown and was granted for life to Sir Thomas Erpingham. It was subsequently granted by Henry VI, in 1431, to complete the foundation of his college of Saints Mary and Nicholas, now King's College, Cambridge.


  • 1. Round, Cal Doc. France, i, 143, 149, 150; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 1057; Blomefield, Hist. of Norf. x, 442; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 12.