13 September 2009

Open day at Beauvale Priory

Just returned from a fascinating afternoon wandering around the ruins of the Carthusian priory of Beauvale, a couple of miles north-east of Eastwood. The site was made accessible as part of the Heritage Open Days initiative. The current owners have restored the farmhouse (which has lost its render revealing timber framing with brick in-filling) and at long last a start has been made on conserving the priory thanks to funding from English Heritage (see http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.21048 for further information).

The priory was founded in the 1343 by local lord, Nicholas de Cantilupe. The Carthusians were the strictest of any of the religious orders and each monk lived in his own separate dwelling, and none of them were allowed to go out of the bounds of the monastery except the priors and proctors, and they only to attend to the necessary affairs of the house. They were enjoined to study, and to work with their hands, their labour consisting in cultivating the fields and gardens, and in transcribing books.

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