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Poor Priory with Rich Patrons
A priory is a monastery
that is not as important as an abbey.
Bisham Priory was
started by William Monatcute in 1337. He was the 1st Earl of Salisbury. He
lived at Bisham Manor. This was right next
door to where he built the Priory.
Before William went
on a Crusade, his friends gathered to say prayers in the Priory Church. His
daughter was there too. She was a nun, so wasn't allowed to get married. But
she ran off with one of the monks from Bisham!
Lots of the Earls
of Salisbury were buried in the Priory Church. They spent lots of money on
their monuments. Some were of bronze covered in gold, like the Royal ones in
Westminster Abbey. Two of the stone ones can be seen in Burghfield Church.
The famous Earl
of Warwick was killed during the War of the
Roses. He was buried there too.
The Earls of
Salisbury did not give the monks much money though. The Priory was always
poor. They had some small relics, but not many pilgrims visited.
Just before the
place was 'dissolved' by King Henry VIII, it was made into an Abbey.