St Mary’s Priory, Belvoir


Belvoir Priory

There will be a 6pm Mass in September 2015  at Belvoir Lodge, Leicestershire in the parish of St Mary Immaculate, Grantham, Lincolnshire. This event is made possible by the kind permission and invitation of Her Grace, Frances, Dowager Duchess of Rutland.

St Mary’s Priory, Belvoir was a Benedictine priory until it was suppressed under Henry VIII in 1539, 474 years ago. The ruins of St Mary’s Priory are now underneath a field where the cars are to be parked on the day of the Mass.


How important community life is for all Catholics and all Christians.
Community life in family, parish or religious community always involves a certain sharing of ourselves.
Sharing our vulnerability is the key to coming to community and this must begin in trust and hope.

I would also mention the local martyr monks (William Coy, William Cowper, John Frances, Hugh Lonsdale, Richard Phelip, John Tenant) of Bardney Abbey, executed during the Lincolnshire rebellion and the intense prayer we make for the unity of Christians in one Communion “in order that the world may believe”.

St Mary’s
Priory, Belvoir:

This was a Benedictine priory adjacent to Belvoir Castle.[1] Although once described as in LincolnshireEngland it is within the modern Boundaries of Leicestershire,[2] near the present Belvoir lodge.[3]

Begun in 1076 by Robert de Todeni, Lord of Belvoir with the intention of being an independent Abbey, it was converted before completion into a cell of St Albans Abbey at the advice of Archbishop Lanfranc.[1] It was disestablished in 1539, as part of the closure of the parent abbey.[1]

(SK 81983414) Site of St Mary’s Priory (Benedictine, founded c AD 1076-88) for four monks; dissolved 1539. Excavations have revealed fragmentary remains of the Priory Church and the inscribed coffin-lid of the founder Robert de Todeni. Fragments of late Celtic or Roman pottery and part of a bronze stylus were found in 1900.

Extensive excavations were carried out about the published site by the 8th Duke of Rutland. The founder’s coffin, which now rests in the chapel, is recorded as being found at SK 82033408 where the end of a barn now stands. Two fish ponds to the east were probably originally associated with the priory but have now been landscaped and are of no archaeological interest.

© Ealing Abbey, James Leachman, O.S.B.,  9 November 2013