Ancient Monuments

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Llanthony Priory

A Scheduled Monument in Crucorney (Crucornau Fawr), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.9449 / 51°56'41"N

Longitude: -3.0364 / 3°2'10"W

OS Eastings: 328859

OS Northings: 227890

OS Grid: SO288278

Mapcode National: GBR F4.MRGL

Mapcode Global: VH78M.BC4V

Entry Name: Llanthony Priory

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3138

Cadw Legacy ID: MM004

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Priory

Period: Medieval

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Crucorney (Crucornau Fawr)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of an abbey, which is a Christian monastery or convent under the government of an Abbot or an Abbess, dating to the medieval period. Llanthony Priory is an Augustinian prior lying nine miles north of Abergavenny in the Vale of Ewias. The foundation of the priory is attributed to a knight of Hugh de Lacy who established a hermitage, apparently on the site of an earlier chapel built by St David. He was joined in 1103 by the former chaplain of Mathilda, Henry I's Queen, and in 1108 a church dedicated to St John the Baptist was consecrated. The church was brought under the Augustinian Order in 1118. The priory enjoyed considerable importance in the first half of the 12th century, but after the death of Henry I in 1135 it became prey to Welsh raids resulting in the flight of the community to the site of a new house, Llanthony Secunda at Hyde near Gloucester. The former priory was stripped of its library and other valuables, although it did retain part of its community. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries the community returned to the site and a significant phase of building started which saw the construction of the priory's church between 1180 and 1230, and the cloisters and other ranges of buildings. The church is of standard cruciform plan and transitional in style with a mix of Norman and Gothic arches.

The 15th century saw a reversal in the fortunes of the priory, which was badly damaged during attacks by supporters of Owain Glyndwr. The baronial wars of Henry VI's reign also took their toll, and in 1481 the priory was relegated to the role of a cell of its former daughter house in Gloucester. In the 15th century the priory fell into ruin, recorded as having a roofless nave in 1504, it was finally dissolved in 1538. The site, which covered around 3 hectares and was probably enclosed by a wall, was subject to much robbing after the dissolution with most of the buildings associated with the priory demolished. In the 19th century, the great tower of the church was demolished and many of the ruined buildings converted to agricultural or domestic use. The remains of the infirmary chapel now form the eastern part of the modern Parish church. The scheduled area includes several fields surrounding the extant priory buildings where earthworks indicate the location of former buildings.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the organisation and practice of medieval Christianity. The site forms an important element within the wider medieval landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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