Alien houses: Priory of Clatford or Hullavington

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

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'Alien houses: Priory of Clatford or Hullavington', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3, ed. R B Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall( London, 1956), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

'Alien houses: Priory of Clatford or Hullavington', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Edited by R B Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall( London, 1956), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

"Alien houses: Priory of Clatford or Hullavington". A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Ed. R B Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall(London, 1956), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.

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Late in the 11th or early in the 12th century Ralph de Mortimer gave the churches of Hullavington and Surrendell to the Benedictine Abbey of St. Victor in Caux (Rouen dioc.). The gift was confirmed by Hugh, Ralph's son, who at the same time himself gave the manors of Clatford and Hullavington to the abbey. (fn. 1) By 1261 these estates had apparently been placed under the superintendence of a prior, (fn. 2) who presumably also managed the abbey manor of Stratfield Mortimer (Berks.). He was known indiscriminately as of Clatford or Hullavington, but after the middle of the 14th century usually bore the name of the former rather than that of the latter village.

It is hard to say whether any real form of conventual life was practised at either place. In 1325 there were found to be two beds in the prior's chamber at Hullavington. (fn. 3) In 1348 a monk of Clatford was licensed to pass beyond the seas with a yeoman, a horse, and money for his expenses on business touching himself and his prior, provided that he made no apport to the parent abbey. (fn. 4) There were thus by this time at least two religious at Clatford. The last prior known by name, and probably the last absolutely, appears to have died about 1390. Whereas in 1297 and 1343 the Prior of Hullavington presented to the vicarage of Hullavington on behalf of the Abbot of St. Victor, in 1364 and 1379 he appears to have presented on his own behalf. On the several occasions before 1444 on which the presentation was in the hands of the Crown, because of the French wars, the king presented on behalf of the abbot. (fn. 5) The inference therefore is that from the mid-14th century at least the Crown and the bishops of Salisbury looked upon the priory as a genuine ecclesiastical community.

Before 1443 there seems to have been a chapel at Clatford. (fn. 6) There is a building at Hullavington, reputed to be monastic, the restored part of which is known as Bradfield Manor Farm; and a farm at Clatford may be presumed to incorporate remains of a monastic building.

During the French wars the custody of the lands of St. Victor in England was granted to keepers. Normally the priors of Clatford received the custody, on the usual understanding that intercourse with the Continent was prohibited. The rent normally ranged from £26 13s. 4d. to £48. The first recorded keeper (the prior) was appointed in 1324, (fn. 7) the last in 1439. (fn. 8) On 25 March 1441 the priory was constituted a part of the endowment of Eton College, where several documents relating to it still survive.

Priors of Clatford

Michael de la Lunde, occurs 1294. (fn. 9)

Matthew, occurs 1297. (fn. 10)

Thomas, occurs 1308. (fn. 11)

Thomas de Valle, occurs 1321. (fn. 12)

Michael Clarel, occurs 1342, (fn. 13) died 1357. (fn. 14)

Nicholas Lalouier, la Louier, Lalouyer, Laloyer, Loloyer, Lalomer, appointed 1357, (fn. 14) occurs 1384. (fn. 15)


  • 1. Recueil de chartes de S. Victor en Caux (Soc. de l'hist. de Normandie), 375–6. Hugh's first confirmation and grant is stated to have been made before his marriage. His son Roger occurs in a charter ante 1137. A grant made before Hugh's marriage can hardly be later than the second decade of the 12th cent. Ralph was still living in 1104 (Complete Peerage, ix, 268–9).
  • 2. Cal. Close, 1259–61, 379.
  • 3. E 106/8/26.
  • 4. Cal. Close, 1346–9, 523.
  • 5. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst.
  • 6. John Wodeford of Marlborough was declared to have taken away a stone (worth 3s. 4d.) fixed for an altar in Clatford chapel (C 145/311/7).
  • 7. Cal. Close, 1327–30, 18.
  • 8. Cal. Fine R. 1437–45, 115.
  • 9. Cal. Pat. 1292–1301, 95.
  • 10. Reg. Simon de Gandavo (Cant. & York Soc.), ii, 559.
  • 11. Ibid. 696.
  • 12. Eton College Records (typed catalogue), XVIII, no. 97.
  • 13. Cal. Fine R. 1337–47, 271.
  • 14. Ibid. 1356–68, 30.
  • 15. Eton College Records (typed catalogue), XVIII, no. 103. There was a commission of 29 Jan. 1391 to inquire what goods a prior of Clatford—possibly Lalouier—had on the day of his death (Cal. Pat. 1388–92, 437).