Alien houses: The priory of Witchingham

Page 466

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

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Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham, granted to the Cluniac monks of the priory of St. Faith, Longueville, in the diocese of Rouen, the manors of Great and Little Witchingham and Weston, with the churches of All Saints, Weston; St. Mary, Great Witchingham; and St. Faith, Little Witchingham, together with various lands, tithes, rents, and services in several other Norfolk parishes. These grants were confirmed by charter of Henry I, and subsequently by Walter Giffard, son of the original donor and second earl of Buckingham, and by Henry II. (fn. 1)

The taxation roll of 1291 mentions portions or pensions from the churches of Weston (£4), Witchingham St. Faith's (£2), and Stratton St. Michael's (13s. 4d.) among the spiritualities pertaining to the priory of Longueville. The prior and convent of Longueville drew £10 4s. 8d. per annum from the manor of Great Witchingham. In addition to the two Witchinghams and Weston, they also had rents or lands at Ringland, Helmingham, Swannington, Alderford, Brandiston, Reepham, Corpusty, and Booton, giving a total income in temporalities of £25 10s. 11¼d.

There was a small priory or cell of Cluniac monks at Witchingham, who had the control of the prior of Longueville's Norfolk possessions.

This property reverted to the crown in 1414 on the dissolution of the alien houses, and was granted to New College, Oxford, by Henry VI in 1460.


  • 1. Round, Cal. Doc. France, i, 74, 75, 77; Blomefield, Hist. of Norf, viii, 298; Taylor, Index Monasticus, 18.