Monkton Farleigh Priory

The Monks’ Conduit

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Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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A monastery of Cluniac monks dedicated to St Mary Magdalene was founded at Farleigh in 1125 by Humphrey de Bohun II, who died in 1131. He endowed it with the manor of Farleigh and most of it was confirmed by his son Humphrey III.

Besides the manor, the monastery owned land at Monkton in Broughton Gifford, at Monkton in Chippenham, Foxhangers Wood in Rowde, in South Wraxall and elsewhere. It also was granted the churches or tithes of many places including Trowbridge, Clutton, Timsbury and Pomeroy in Wingfield and mills at Dowlish Wake, Box, Stratton and Timsbury.

The Priory was dissolved in 1536 and the manor was granted by Henry VIII to Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, later Duke of Somerset.

There are few remains of the monastery and its church within the grounds of the Manor House. The most visible is the Monks’ Conduit (well house) west of Farleigh Rise; it is said to be 14th century, but the stone roof dates from 1784.

Several carved stones, including the head of a knight in chain mail, a priest and a corbel in the shape of a head, excavated from the site of the priory are in the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes.

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