Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 1173-1536 A.D. St. Mary Magdalen Nunnery, Bristol—Augustinian Canonesses; Founded in 1173; Dissolved in 1536; Granted to Henry Brayne & John Marsh; King David Inn Built on Site

November 1173-1536 A.D.  St. Mary Magdalen Nunnery, Bristol—Augustinian Canonesses;  Founded in 1173;  Dissolved in 1536;  Granted to Henry Brayne & John Marsh; King David Inn Built on Site


St Mary Magdalen Nunnery, Bristol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Mary Magdalen Nunnery
St Mary Magdalen Nunnery, Bristol is located in Bristol
St Mary Magdalen Nunnery, Bristol
Shown within Bristol
Basic information
Architectural description

St Mary Magdalen Nunnery (grid reference ST585733) was a prioryof Augustinian canonesses in Kingsdown, Bristol, England. It was founded c. 1173 and dissolved in 1536.[1] St Mary Magdalen is remembered in the name of Maudlin Street; the nunnery was located near to the corner of Maudlin Street and St Michael's Hill, which was later the site of the King David Inn.[2]



The nunnery was founded by Eva Fitzharding, who endowed it with lands in Southmead and became its first prioress. Her ancestry is not known. She was the widow of Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy burgess of Bristol who had risen to become the Lord of Berkeley. He had founded St Augustine's Abbey, which later became Bristol Cathedral, and he too ended his days as a canon of the religious house he had founded.[3][4]

Later history

From the 13th century onwards the nunnery was very poor, and for that reason exempt from taxation and procuration payments to the Bishop of Worcester, within whose diocese the nunnery was.[1] In 1480 when William Worcester was measuring out Bristol's religious buildings, there were only three nuns. He paced out their church as being just 27 steps long.[5] His steps have been estimated at around 21 inches (53 cm) on average.[6] Some remains of the nunnery, Perpendicular in style, have been found on the site of the King David Inn.[2]

In 1535 when the net annual incomes of the Bristol religious houses were assessed in the Valor Ecclesiasticus, St Mary Magdalen had a complement of 2 nuns and an income of £21, compared to the figures of 19 and £670 for St Augustine's Abbey.[7]


Engraving of King David Inn

The inn on the site of the nunnery in 1882

In the Dissolution of the Monasteries, St Mary Magdalen was the only "lesser" religious house in Bristol to be seized by the Crown's commissioners under the Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries, which was passed in 1536. They found the nunnery to be without debt and the building in good condition, but its possessions to be worth only a few pounds. The two dispossessed nuns were Eleanor Graunt, an old woman who had been prioress since around 1521, and a young novice. They were not given pensions and what happened to them afterwards is not known. The house then became a private residence.[1][7]


1.      ^ Jump up to:a b c Page, William (1907). "Houses of Augustinian canonesses: The priory of St Mary Magdalen, Bristol". Victoria County History. British History Online. Retrieved 2010-09-13.

2.      ^ Jump up to:a b "Nunnery of St Mary Magdalen". Pastscape. English Heritage. 2001. Retrieved 2010-09-13.

3.      Jump up^ Sivier, David (2002). Anglo-Saxon and Norman Bristol. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0-7524-2533-1.

4.      Jump up^ Bettey, Joseph (2000). Rogan, John, ed. Bristol Cathedral: History and Architecture. Charleston: Tempus. pp. 15–19. ISBN 0-7524-1482-8.

5.      Jump up^ Neale, Frances (2001). Bettey, Joseph, ed. Historic Churches and Church Life in Bristol. Bristol: Bristol and Gloucestershire Historical Society. p. 47. ISBN 0-900197-53-6.

6.      Jump up^ Neale, Frances (2001). Bettey, Joseph, ed. Historic Churches and Church Life in Bristol. Bristol: Bristol and Gloucestershire Historical Society. p. 29. ISBN 0-900197-53-6.

7.      ^ Jump up to:a b Bettey, Joseph (1990). The Suppression of the Religious Houses in Bristol. Bristol: Bristol Branch of the Historical Association. pp. 7–14. ISBN 0-901388-57-2

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