Alien houses: Priory of Warmington

Pages 131-132

A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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Henry Newburgh, earl of Warwick, temp. Henry I, gave his lands in Warmington, except the hamlets, to the Benedictine abbey of St. Peter, Préaux, in the diocese of Lisieux. The monks of Préaux are said to have built a cell or priory here, and sent over some of their number to occupy it. Their religious house, according to the tradition of the inhabitants in the days of Dugdale, stood about the middle of the town. (fn. 1) The chartulary of Préaux contains a notification between 1123 and 1146 from the chapter of the collegiate church of St. Mary, Warwick, addressed to abbot Ricard and the convent of Préaux, allowing the grant by their brother Richard of the tithe of Warmington, Shotteswell, and Arlescote (Orlavescote). Somewhat later Roger earl of Warwick confirmed the gift that Ralph de Sancto Sansone gave to the monks of Préaux, namely, a hide and a virgate of land in Warmington, the tithe of Warmington, Arlescote and Shotteswell, and a hide which Roger Wandard held in Shotteswell of demesne, all of which were given by Ralph son of Helebold to Richard father of Ralph, in fee for his service. (fn. 2) Waleran, earl of Warwick, circa 1200, confirmed the grant of his grandfather, Earl Henry, of the whole town of Warmington, save the hamlets, and willed that it should be held as freely as any alms can be. (fn. 3)

Even if the tradition of Warmington having been a priory is correct, it is clear that this cell was in the fourteenth century under the control of that of Toft Monks, Norfolk, which also belonged to the abbey of Préaux. (fn. 4)

An extent of 1380 gave the annual value of the manor of Warmington, described as parcel of the priory of 'Toftes,' Norfolk, as £29 0s. 11½d. The items include a dove-cote valued at 20d., and a windmill at 13s. 4d. The autumn and winter labour of the natives was reckoned as worth 77s. 8d. The service due from the natives for 33 virgates of land was 13d. a virgate, and 36s. 3½d. for buying the lord a palfrey. The rector of Warmington paid a pension of 46s. 8d., and the rector of Wylye 13s. 4d. The advowsons of both these churches belonged to the priory. The jury also reported that twenty-four ash trees had just been cut down for the repairs of the houses and the windmill. (fn. 5)

An inquisition of 1387 gave the annual value as £29 19s. 1½d. The jury also gave the value of the grain and cattle at the time of the departure of Clement, the late prior of Toft, and stated that the manor belonged to that priory, and that all the houses and buildings and the cloister were in sufficient repair. (fn. 6)

After the dissolution of the alien priories Warmington was granted by Henry VI (1428) to the Carthusians of Witham, Somersetshire. (fn. 7)


  • 1. Dugdale, Warw. i, 535.
  • 2. Round, Cal. Doc. France, i, 113, 114.
  • 3. Ibid. 119.
  • 4. V.C.H. Norf. ii, 464.
  • 5. Add. MSS. 6164, fol. 356.
  • 6. Ibid. fol. 496-7.
  • 7. Pat. 9 Hen. VI, m. 12.