Canons Ashby Priory Church, Northamptonshire

Augustinian Monks

This Augustinian Priory was founded by Stephen La Leye between 1147 and 1151. It would appear likely that it remained small until around 1250 when the Priory was expanded after a licence was granted to build a well nearby. The existing parts of the Priory which are incorporated into the Parish Church date from this period.

It would appear that the Priory continued to grow, although never on a massive scale, it was a sizeable foundation. In the 1530s the Priory came to the attention of Thomas Cromwell and it was dissolved. The Priory Church was converted into the Parish Church, but most of the rest of the buildings are now gone.

The land was sold to Sir Francis Bryan who sold it to Sir John Cope in 1538. His daughter inherited and, in 1551, married John Dryden who extended what was thought to be the Priory Farmhouse and created Canons Ashby House which is directly across the road from the Priory Church.

Both the House and the Church are now in the care of the National Trust.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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