From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Isleham Priory Church.
Isleham Priory Church located in Isleham, Cambridgeshire is a Norman church, built in ca 1090. Despite being converted into a barn, it remains in a largely unaltered state.
The Church of St Margaret of Antioch was given to the Benedictine Abbey of St Jacut-de-la-Mer in Brittany, France around 1100 by Count Alan of Brittany or his successors and the Benedictines founded the alien priory on the site. In 1254 the monks moved to the sister cell at Linton, although the site seems to have been used as a priory after that time. Due to the tensions of a French owned monastery in England during the hundred years war, the lands were seized by the King in 1414 and granted to the Master and Fellows of Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1440. From either this point, or following the reformation, and until 1914, the conventual church was used as a barn.
In 1944 Pembroke College placed it in the guardianship of the Ministry of Works. It is a Grade 1 listed building and now in the care of English Heritage. The foundations of the conventual buildings and the earthworks in the surrounding land are a scheduled ancient monument.
Locally this is known as the Priory. There are said to be tunnels connecting this with the Church; these have now been blocked up for many years. There are also tunnels linking the Church to an old Grade II listed shop in the centre of the village, which is now not used.
1. ^ Jump up to:a b English Heritage. "Isleham priory: an alien Benedictine priory 100m west of St Andrew's Church (1013278)". National Heritage List for England.
3. Jump up^ English Heritage. "PRIORY CHURCH OF ST MARGARET OF ANTIOCH (1126476)". National Heritage List for England.
January 1086 A.D. Isleham Priory, Cambridgeshire—Founded by Benedictine Monks; Norman Church; Called Saint Margaret of Antioch, Iselham; Monks Moved to Sister Cell at Linton; Dissolved 1414; Granted to Pembroke College, Cambridge; Converted Church to Barn & Demolished Monastery
No author. “Isleham Priory Church.” English Heritage. N.d. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/isleham-priory-church/history-and-research/. Accessed 17 Nov 2014.
HISTORY AND RESEARCH: ISLEHAM PRIORY CHURCH
This small Norman chapel is the best example in the country of a small Benedictine priory church that has remained substantially unaltered.
The walls of the original 12th century building all survive and only the raising of the nave roof – when the chapel was converted to a barn – has altered its overall shape. To the north you can see earthworks relating to the activities of the small priory community that farmed here and the combination of these survivals with an original priory chapel is also extremely rare.
Isleham Priory was probably founded around 1100 by Count Alan of Brittany. Alan later gave the churches at Isleham and Linton to the Benedictine Abbey of St Jacut-sur-Mer in Brittany. As an enemy property during the wars with France, Isleham had a troubled history. It did not prosper or expand and in 1254 the monks were moved to Linton.
In 1440 Isleham was granted to Pembroke College, Cambridge, and either then, or at some point after the Reformation, the chapel was converted into a barn.
Isleham Priory Church retains many 12th-century features
The chalk-rubble chapel has a nave and chancel, with a semi-circular apse at the east end. The curve at the top of the apse walls shows that it originally had a vaulted, half-dome roof. Barnack limestone was used for the internal arches and the earlier doorways and windows.
The east window and one in the south side of the nave remain unaltered, but the chancel windows and north doors of both nave and chancel were enlarged in the 13th century.
The doorway to the village green, in the south wall of the chancel, was inserted after the monks had moved to Linton and the large cart door replaced the original nave door in the 16th or 17th century.
Anon, 1961. 'A Short History of the Parish Church of St Andrew, Isleham, and the Priory Church of St Margaret', Ramsgate: Graham Cumming
The text and pictures on this page are derived from the 'Heritage Unlocked' series of guidebooks published in 2004. We intend to review, update and enhance the content in the near future as part of the Portico project, whose objective is to provide information on the history, significance, research background and sources for all English Heritage properties.
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: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Common-Prayer-Biography-Religious/dp/0691154813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417814005&sr=8-1&keywords=jacobs+book+of+common+prayer. January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmer-English-Reformation-1489-1556/dp/1592448658/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420055574&sr=8-1&keywords=A.F.+Pollard+Cranmer. February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmer-Jasper-Ridley/dp/0198212879/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422892154&sr=8-1&keywords=jasper+ridley+cranmer&pebp=1422892151110&peasin=198212879