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Between the years 1090 and 1098 Ilbert de Lasci founded a priory for Saint John near to the fort at Pontefract, where he ruled from. The English lord, Ailric of Cawthorne was a landowner under the lordship of de Lasci and also a benefactor to that priory of St Johns. The grandson of Ailric, Adam Fitzswain founded for himself a priory for Saint Mary Magdalene, as a daughterhouse of St Johns in Pontefract, on the river Dearne west of Barnsley in the direction of the town of Pontefract.

This Priory of Monk Bretton was founded in the year 1154 and belonged, as with St Johns, to the mighty, French order of Cluny, whose members followed the Rule of St Benedict, from the 6th Century.

Such priories lasted through to the suppression of monastic houses throughout Nord-west Europe at the beginning of the 16th Century. During this time the following monarchs ruled over England:

Henry II, Richard I, John, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Edward IV, Edward V, Henry VI, Henry VII en Henry VIII.

Founded in the 1150's, Monk Bretton Priory belonged to the powerful French order of Cluny. Its monks followed the 6th-century Rule of St Benedict.

Sometime between 1090 and 1098 Ilbert de Laci, who ran his lordship from Pontefract Castle, set up a priory of Cluniac monks at Pontefract. Those monks came from the great Cluniac motherhouse, La Charité-sur-Loire, in France. Ilbert's family was rewarded for this gift with daily prayers to save their immortal souls, said by the monks at of St Johns, Pontefract.

Ailric of Cawthorne was a local, English landowner under de Laci lordship. He also made gifts to St John's. Later, Ailric's grandson, Adam Fitz Swain, set up his own Cluniac priory here at 'Lund' (or Bretton), staffed by monks from St Johns. Its foundation can be dated to 1153-54.

Gerald Alliot at Barnsley Archives records this time-line to show that 'Barnsley manor and grange' meant land that was given to Cluniac monks at Monk Bretton Priory.

An ownership time line:


Contact Details

Friends of Monk Bretton Priory
PO BOX 1000
S70 1AA