The Carthusian Order was founded in about 1084 by a man named Bruno Hartenfaust. He was born in Cologne in 1030 and began studying at Rheims Cathedral School at an early age. Here he earned a doctorate and was appointed Chancellor and master of the School, a post he held for twenty years. He was one of the most remarkable scholars and teachers of his time: ‘…..a prudent man, whose word was rich in meaning.’ However, Bruno grew increasingly uneasy at the laxity which he perceived to have permeated much of the religious life of the city and church. So he left for Molesmes, where Robert, a former Benedictine monk, having felt the similarly, was trying out a different way to lead a monastic life – a more austere lifestyle than the one to which he had been accustomed as a monk. Robert and Bruno both felt that a life where monks still lived partially in the community yet also spent a great deal of their time as hermits, alone, in prayer and meditation, would be more conducive to the maintenance of the high ideals to which they aspired. But they had their differences: Robert wished to keep the custom of sleeping in large dormitories, whereas Bruno felt it to be better if the monks lived in their own individual ‘cells’ (actually small cottages), only meeting at certain times. So they parted; Robert to found the austere Cistercian Order, and Bruno the even stricter Carthusians. Bruno then went, with six companions, to the Bishop of Grenoble and asked him to help them find a place where they could start their new life.He led them to a remote site high in the French Alps, called ‘La Grande Chartreuse’, where they founded the first Carthusian Monastery. From then on, the Carthusians always chose sites as remote as possible for their houses: either high in mountains or deep in forests. Noting how older orders often grew very large and wealthy (through gifts of land given in exchange for masses said for souls), and how that wealth contributed to laxity, Bruno stipulated that the number of monks (fathers) in a Carthusian monastery should not exceed twelve (the number of the disciples) with one ‘prior’ chosen from among them (‘the first among equals’). The small number would help enable them to keep a certain poverty to which they aspired. Their ‘cells’, in which by far the greatest amount of their time would be spent, should be built around a (very large) cloister. Food would be delivered to each cell through a ‘dog-leg’ hatch, where the monk would be unable even to see the man delivering it. The church, kitchen and refectory would be built to the north of these.
THE CARTHUSIAN ORDER These notes are produced by Margaret Dodge
WHO FOUNDED THE MONASTERY? The following notes were produced by Isla Tuck There were two ‘founders’ of the Carthusian monastery now at Hinton. Firstly, William Longspee, Earl of Salisbury, founded one in 1222 on his land at Hatherop, in Gloucester. It was only the second of its kind in England at the time, the other one being Witham Priory, established by Henry II. Secondly, ten years later it was moved and ‘refounded’ at Hinton by William’s widow, Ela, Countess of Salisbury William was the son of Henry II and one of his courtesans. His mother was previously believed to be Henry’s favourite, Rosamund Clifford, known as the Fair Rosamund, but is latterly thought to be Countess Ida de Tosny. He was therefore half brother to both Richard Ist (the ‘Lionheart’) and King John. Under John he had held high office in England, and was sent abroad on political and diplomatic missions. He fought for John in France and Flanders, and was present in 1219 at the capture of Damietta, a port at the mouth of the Nile, on the 5th Crusade, where he distinguished himself by his courage. He was called by the monk historian, Matthew Paris ‘the flower of earls’. William was indeed a heroic character, and an archetype of the ideal medieval chivalric knight. The name ‘Longspee’ means ‘Long Sword’, which would indicate a man of considerable height. This is also borne out by his long tomb in Salisbury Cathedral. The king - held him in very high regard. William’s wife Ela became known for her Christian devoutness, and in his latter years William was profoundly influenced by (St) Edmund of Abingdon towards a more devout life, and founded the monastery in Hatherop. But on March 7th 1226, William died. He had been sent on a campaign abroad, but was so long in returning that he was believed to have been drowned, and Hubert de Burgh, Chancellor of England, planned to have Ela married to his nephew. Then William arrived home with much rejoicing. Hubert invited him to dine that evening, and William died in great agony of body and anguish of mind that same night. He was assumed to have been poisoned, but it could not be proved and Hubert was never charged. Proof was forthcoming later, when in 1791 William’s tomb was opened, and a rat poisoned with arsenic was found within his skull. His was the first burial in Salisbury Cathedral (in the south west corner of the central crossing). Living at the English Court at the same time as William Longspee was William D’Evreux, directly descended from Walter D’Evreux, Count of Rosmar. He had been a follower of William the Conqueror, and had received the lands of Salisbury and Amesbury from him in recognition of his services. With Walter were his wife, Eleanor de Vitre and their daughter Ela D’Evreux. In 1198, when Ela was eight, both of her parents died and she was made a ward of Richard I. However, Ela’s relatives in France wanted to have her back with them in Normandy, and contrived to kidnap her and spirit her back to France with them. On hearing of this, Richard asked a knight named William Talbot to get her back again. He went over to France dressed first as a pilgrim to find her location, then as a harpist, offering to play in some of the wealthier houses. In this way William found her – and managed to bring her back to the English Court. When Ela was ten Richard gave her in marriage to his half-brother, the acclaimed knight William Longspee. Although it was not uncommon at that time for girls to be given in marriage at such an early age, William wisely waited for many more years before they lived as man and wife. Against the odds the marriage appears to have been a very happy one, and produced a large number of children. After William Longspee’s untimely death in 1226, the monks from the Carthusian monastery which he had founded in Hatherop appealed to his widow, Ela, stating that the site was unsuitable for them and that the endowments were insufficient to sustain them. Ela would probably have inherited with her title all the lands belonging to her ancestor, Edward of Salisbury: 34 manors in Wiltshire and two in Somerset. Out of these she chose to grant the monks her two Somerset manors - Hinton and Norton. Bearing in mind that the reclusive Carthusians liked their monasteries to be as remote as possible, either high up in mountains or deep in forests, the site at Hinton would have seemed almost ideal. Here Ela specifically offered her deer park, situated on a high plateau from which a steep, wooded hillside ran down eastwards to the River Frome. Here they would have fertile pasture, meadow and arable land and – more importantly still – water supply and the scope for drainage. The site also had far-reaching views eastwards towards the edge of Salisbury Plain. The monks were to call the place ‘Locus Dei’, or the ‘Place of God’. IIn 1227, soon after the decision to relocate the Carthusian Priory founded by William Longspee at Hatherop to the site offered by his widow, Ela D’evreux, at Hinton, building work started in earnest. The master mason (the equivalent to today’s architect) was Elias Dereham, who was also master mason of the new cathedral being built at Salisbury. There are certain details in style which are very similar to those in Salisbury. Materials were readily available close at hand: the local oolitic limestone (an excellent building stone) does not lie far below the surface of the ground on the upper part of the hill, and could have been quarried relatively easily anywhere nearby. There is evidence of old quarries in several places, but more particularly in the woodland adjacent to the Priory - the far northern reaches of the Selwood Forest, later known as Friary Wood. Timber would also have been freely available from this extensive woodland. Water was provided by springs which arose just above the priory site, to the north west, and at points down the hillside as well as from the River Frome itself. No doubt many local men found employment as builders there. The plan of the priory followed the customary layout of all Carthusian houses. This was similar to all monastic plans, but different in that the monks would live in single ‘cells’ (in fact, pleasant 3-roomed L-shaped cottages with a large cloister). A covered walk around it led to the main buildings of church, sacristy, chapter house, library, kitchen, refectory, Prior’s cell and gatehouse to the north. All would be enclosed within a high precinct wall. So after five years of building work, on 16th May, 1232, Ela founded an abbey for Augustinian canonesses at Lacock in Wiltshire in the morning and Hinton priory in the afternoon. The latter was dedicated ‘in honore Dei et Beatae Mariae et Sancti Johannis Baptistae et Omnium Sanctorum’. The Bishops of Bath and Salisbury, Edmund of Abingdon (who had influenced William Longspee) and Elias of Dereham, the ‘architect’ of Salisbury – and probably the priory – were the first four witnesses to its charter. Thus began the 307 years of contemplation and worship at Hinton Priory. THE MONKS WAY OF LIFE The Carthusians believed that the best way to come close to God was by silence and solitude, and this governed the way they lived. They also lived in great simplicity. Hence their clothes consisted of first, a cilicium, or goats hair shirt next to their skins. Over this they wore a long,coarse white cloth habit with a hood (this was to keep them anonymous from each other), and over this they had a ‘scapular’, or a white woollen tunic, rather like the woollen blankets we used to have. For going out of doors they had a black plaited cloak. Their beds consisted of a wooden board with a blanket and a bolster of rags covered with coarse skins. Their ‘cells’ were in fact pleasant small L-shaped cottages 31.6’ wide, and slightly less in depth, set around the cloister. Each had a room 20’ square, and two smaller rooms, one for the bedroom and the other for prayer and meditation. There was also an L-shaped area around two of the outer walls where they could store the wood given to them for the large fireplace in the main room. A small dog-leg aperture in the outer wall enabled the monks’ meals to be delivered without either giver or receiver seeing each other. There was also an L-shaped garden around each cottage where the monks could grow their own vegetables etc – and get some exercise. In this way they became known for their gardening skills. Water piped from the fields behind the Priory flowed along the back of the gardens and down to the river, and was used for latrines and general drainage. Again, their manipulation of water courses – both for drainage and for clear water for washing and drinking - was very advanced for the time. Early Carthusian Houses, such as the ones at Hinton and Witham were only one storeyed. Later ones, such as the one at Mount Grace in the North Yorkshire moors had two-storeyed cottages. The upper room would have been used for the monk’s practical work, such as weaving, woodwork, calligraphy – copying theological books and ‘illuminating’ them with exquisite paintings etc. One cottage has been restored and furnished as the curators believe it would have been. It is very well worth a visit. DAILY LIFE OF THE CARTHUSIANS In 516 St Benedict wrote some rules for the new monasteries he was founding. Included were instructions for a set of seven ‘offices’ to be observed at intervals throughout the day. He took for his example the words of David in Psalm 119 verse 164: ’Seven times a day do I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgements’. The offices were called: Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext,None, Vespers and Compline. These were followed not only by the Benedictines, but by all the other monastic houses, including the arthusians. However, they varied greatly in their timing and order according to the house, the time of year, and over the years. The following shows a typical day in the life of Carthusian monks at a certain time, with variations from St Benedict’s original plan: 11.00pm Monks woken for preparations for MATINS in CHURCH. 2.00pm Monks to cells for private prayer until 2.30am. 5.45am Monks arise and recite PRIME in their cells. 6.45am HIGH MASS in CHURCH. 7.45am Private Mass in cells. (On Sundays followed by a Chapter meeting). 9.00am Meditation and manual labour in cells. 10.00am TERCE in cells. Meal brought, followed by work and reading. 12.00noon NONE in cells, followed by work and reading. 2.30pm Office of COLLOQUIUM in cells. 2.45pm VESPERS in CHURCH. 4.00pm return to cells – final meal brought. 6.00pm COMPLINE recited in cells – to bed. Although the Carthusians aspired to lead solitary lives, as this timetable shows they did meet in the church three times a day (although they did not necessarily converse then). On Sundays they met in the chapter house for notices and discussions, and were allowed to converse in the cloister after None. They also met for a walk together in the grounds once a month, and ate communally in the refectory on saints’ days. However, they were forbidden any outside contacts, and were never allowed to leave the premises. THE BROTHERS Since Carthusian monks spent their time almost entirely on their spiritual exercises and were kept isolated from any outside contact, they needed lay brothers to carry out the practical work of the monastery and to act as a link with the outside world. So local unmarried men were employed to fulfil this role. They were called the ‘brothers’ or ‘friars’ (from the French word ‘frere’, meaning brother), and the fully professed monks who had taken the full vows, were known as the ‘fathers’. There were three categories of brothers: 1. The ‘Conversi’, fully professed monks who took the same vows as the fathers, but only on an annual basis. They were obliged to attend Matins daily, and Mass and Vespers on Sundays and feast days, but otherwise did practical work. 2. The ‘Donati’, (who literally ‘gave’ their time); lived and worked very much as the Conversi, wore brown habits, but took no vows. 3. The ‘Mercenarii’, who also lived within the friary, led semi-monastic lives, but wore ordinary clothes and worked as paid servants. All would have been celibate. To ensure the continuing poverty of a Carthusian monastery their numbers were limited to sixteen lay brothers and twenty five Mercenarii. They were all under the supervision of a monk known as ‘the Procurator’. At La Grande Chartreuse (the Carthusians’ Mother House) the Friary (or ‘Correrie’) was built half a mile down the mountain from the priory, to protect the monks from the noise and disturbance of the brothers’ activities. At Hinton, as we know, an ideal site was found for the Friary down a steep slope to the east by clearing an area of ancient woodland by the river. Here the friary was built as a scaled down version of the upper house. It had a church, a chapterhouse, either a dormitory or individual cells, a kitchen and refectory, a sanatorium for the care of sick monks and the outbuildings needed for other agricultural or industrial use. In 1245 the brothers were granted the use of Freshford Mill, and also in 1362 the use of Iford Mill. Although much of the brothers’ lives were spent in physical labour, their spiritual lives were not neglected. The procurator was also their spiritual adviser. Every five weeks the Prior also came to spend a week with the brothers, who benefited from some education and skills training. One could easily imagine, too, when wandering through the upper part of Friary Woods, glimpsing through the trees the brown habit of a brother padding up the path - perhaps carrying some freshly baked bread, vegetables and eggs - to the priory kitchen. MARKETS AND FAIRS From time to time the monks of Hinton Priory found themselves in difficulties financially. So in 1254 Henry III granted a charter to the priory enabling them to hold weekly markets and annual fairs at Hinton. These occasions would enable the monks to levy tolls on all the goods sold, with ‘picage’ (the right to make holes in the ground to erect stalls) and ‘stallage’ (the right to erect stalls) and to keep all the profits. The markets were held weekly, on a given day. They provided the opportunity for the buying and selling of surplus products from the surrounding area, and the provision of a social occasion. In 1285 Edward I granted a weekly market to be held on Tuesdays in Hinton and one on Fridays in Norton St Philip. Three-day fairs were held annually on the feast day of the patron saint of the village or town concerned – in this case St John the Baptist, whose feast day is the 29th of August, with the day before (the vigil) and the day afterwards (the morrow). These attracted a wider range of merchandise, selling goods in bulk from local agriculture and industry to merchants from further afield. The woollen industry was flourishing greatly in the area and almost certainly would have been the dominant trade. These markets and fairs would have potentially been very beneficial both to the local people as well as to the priory, but records show that they were not always well received. The Hinton fair must have been held very near the priory, because in 1345 the ‘clamour, noise and violence of the men frequenting the fair, which is held in a place close to the church’ caused the monks to complain that their divine service was disturbed, and to appeal to Edward III for permission to transfer the fair to Norton. Permission was granted – and Hinton’s loss became Norton’s gain. Two years earlier, Norton had been granted a second market, on a Tuesday. This had been the day first given for Hinton’s market, so perhaps that also had been transferred for the same reason. The monks’ complaints of the ‘insolence’ of the fair-goers at Hinton suggest that the disturbances were deliberate, and demonstrate that there was hostility from the local people towards the priory, and that the deprivations of both markets and fairs from Hinton was a form of punishment for this. Now that Norton had two markets every week – on Tuesdays and Fridays (the latter inherited from Hinton), and two fairs every year – on St John the Baptist’s day, the 29th of August, with the 28th and 30th Philip and James, on the 1st of May with the 30th of April and the 2nd of May added, it became a bustling and a thriving place. These events were granted in 1343 by Edward III to take place ‘in a vacant space on the west side of the church of that manor’. However, in time the monks laid out a new market place, detached from the old town, at the top of the hill. This was high and level – but most importantly, on the junction of the roads linking Bath with Salisbury and Wells with Devizes, where they were likely to attract even more custom. This new, planned settlement was developed along a section of road which at its north end widens into a triangular market place, and where there was by 1565 a market cross. The greatest of all these new buildings was the ‘George Inn’. This was built to give accommodation to the wool merchants who would have come from great distances, and to other travellers. It fronted the widest part of the market place, and at about 50 metres wide and three stories high was built some time between 1370 and 1400. The top floor was one long dormitory and the first floor was used for the storage of bales of wool and packs of cloth. Linen was sold at the Inn, and woollen cloth in ‘Fair Field’, just below the Inn. Although these occasions were mostly very successful, the monks did have their problems. In 1401 Thomas Neuton and his servants arrived in Norton. He was an ‘aulnager’, or wool-tax collector, whose duty it was to ensure that the cloths for sale were of the correct length and width. On this occasion, certain traders assaulted the group, killing one of the servants, inflicting ‘more than a hundred mortal wounds’ on Thomas, and pursuing other servants who barely escaped. A witness claimed these violent men ‘wander about from place to place doing evil’. In 1460, Thomas and Agnes Cole, a couple from Norton began to preach against pilgrimages, relics and the worship of images. They were tried for heresy and found guilty at a court in Wells. They were sentenced to process around the market place and cathedral at Wells with bare feet and heads, with bundles of wood on their shoulders and carrying candles as penance. THE KING’S GREAT MATTER A cloud of insecurity descended on many monasteries in the early 16th century, when Cardinal Wolsey was enabled by Papal bull to dissolve 21 monastic houses, then closed a further seven without any reference to the Pope. The money was used to found new colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. Further anxiety came over the Act of Succession in 1534, whereby all the king’s subjects had to swear an oath recognising the invalidity of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and to declare any children born to Ann Boleyn to be legitimate. Because of the Carthusians’ reputation throughout the land for honesty and integrity of life, Henry was particularly anxious to have their approval, especially that of Prior Houghton of London, who was the ‘visitor’ of all the Charterhouses in England. Both the Prior and his Procurator stated that, as they were only monks these matters were not their concern – but added that they were not convinced of the invalidity of Henry’s first marriage. They were thrown into the Tower of London; but pressure from the Archbishop of York persuaded them to allow their community to take the oath, and they were released. The Prior of Hinton Priory, Dr Edmund Horde, who was a man very highly esteemed for his wisdom and sanctity in all the monasteries throughout the land, was also deeply troubled by the implications of the Act of Succession. He dreamt that he saw the nobles of the realm drawing Ann Boleyn up onto a royal stage. He stretched out his hand to help her up, but was smitten by his conscience when he recognised the significance of what he was doing. ‘God defend that ever I should consent to so unjust and unlawful a deed!’, he exclaimed. So greatly did the dream trouble him that he went over to Witham Priory to confide in the Prior there. Unfortunately, one of the monks there, named Peter, eavesdropped on their conversation and hastened over to tell Edward, Lord Stourton. In June 1534, Lord Stourton himself went to take the oaths of the monks at Hinton Priory. He found that Edmund Horde was absent. He reported to Thomas Cromwell: “ I have been at the Charterhouse in the county aforesaid to take the oaths of the priors and monks, but the prior has gone on a pilgrimage these forty days and seven of the monks will not take any oaths until he returns and swears first. Let me know what I am to do if they continue in their refusal” Later there must have been a meeting between Edmund Horde and Thomas Cromwell at Lord Hungerford’s castle in nearby Farleigh, at which it seems there was a disagreement for which the prior felt he should apologise. On 17th March, 1535, he wrote:“I perceive that all the words ye spoke to me at Sir Walter Hungerford’s arose upon my untowardness in certain things which ye willed me to do concerning the king’s majesty...” Yet this letter contained no promises to comply, and Edmund Horde may have remained under Cromwell’s suspicion, as in June of the same year the proctor of the London Charterhouse, Andrew Boorde, in writing to Cromwell urged him to ‘be a good friend….to Dr Horde, the Prior of Hinton’. It seems that Edmund Horde was protected from the potential wrath of both Henry and Cromwell by the high esteem in which he was generally held. HENRY VIII needed money for his war with France, and perceived that nearly one quarter of English land was in monastic hands. So he appointed Thomas Cromwell and some other men to be ‘crown visitors’, to visit every monastery in the land and write a report on them. If he could find sufficient fault with them to justify their closure, he would be able to seize their assets. These men were described as ‘grasping, worldly and without a trace of spiritual feeling’. They alleged that the houses were ‘corrupt and bestial’ – even those they had not visited.   In April 1536, even before the visitations were complete, the Act of Suppression was passed, authorising the closure of all the smaller monasteries, and the appropriation of all their property by the king. The monks could either go free or enter a larger monastery. The ‘visitors’ went round again, this time bringing threats and false charges against any monastery that refused to comply, and bribes and generous pensions to those who agreed to submit.   In January, 1539, the king’s visitors, John Tregonwell and William Petre arrived at Hinton Priory. They had just received the surrender of the Augustinian abbey of Keynsham – whose reputation at that time was somewhat tarnished – and whereas they had found it co-operative in surrender, the influential Prior Horde was not so easy to manipulate. Moreover, he had a clever (if, to them, unsatisfactory) answer. The commissioners could find no fault in the priory at all, and said so, but nevertheless wrote an account of their visit to Cromwell: “Came to Henton last night, after dissolving the late monastery at Keynsham at Lord Hungerford’s request. The Prior of Henton answered that if the king would take his house, so that it proceeded of his voluntary surrender, he was content to obey; otherwise his conscience would not suffer him willingly to give it over. He is of the same mind this morning. The convent are of the same mind, except three.”   But pressure was brought to bear on Edmund Horde in other ways. Earlier, three Carthusian Priors – Prior Houghton of London, Prior Laurence of Beauvale and Prior Webster of Axholme asked to be exempt from taking the oath of the king’s supremacy. They were committed to the Tower; tried, then hanged, drawn amd quartered in their habits at Tyburn. Ten monks who also refused were sent to Newgate prison, where they were left to starve. Edmund Horde had a brother, Alan, a Bencher in the Middle Temple in London. Perhaps he had witnessed these terrible deaths, as it seems that he wrote to Edmund, berating him for his perceived obstinacy in opposing the king, and warning him of the possible consequences of his attitude, not only for himself, but also for the many who would probably follow him. There is a very touching letter written by Edmund in reply, showing deep distress at having to act so much against his principles, and showing great love towards the monks whose lives probably depended on his actions. And so Edmund Horde deemed it wiser to capitulate. In Henry VIII’s Letters and Papers there is a brief statement recording the surrender of Hinton Priory to John Tregonwell on 31st March, 1539. Thus ended 307 unbroken years of singleminded, sacrificial living, with quiet, sincere devotion by generations of monks within the precincts of Hinton Priory. NOTABLE CARTHUSIAN CHARACTERS Nicholas Balland was a monk at Hinton Priory in its latter years. It appears that he was at times rather mentally unstable, yet he showed a fierce loyalty and outspokenness, even when that was clearly not the wisest course. When Cromwell’s ‘visitors’ came to the Priory to test the monks’ acquiescence to Henry VIII’s plan to make himself supreme head of the church in England, and to ‘dissolve’ the smaller monasteries, the Prior, Edmunde Horde, said that he could not agree to it willingly, but if he was forced to obey, he would. Three monks disagreed. Whereupon one of them, Nicholas Balland spoke up, affirming ‘The Bishop of Rome’ (the Pope) to be the vicar of Christ, and that he is and ought to be supreme head of the chuch’. The Prior, no doubt alarmed at what the consequences of this could be for all of them, hastily excused Nichola by explaining that he had often been unstable and liable to such unwise outbursts. Fortunately for them all, the visitors were persuaded to ignore the incident. Shortly after the dissolution John Clerke, a weaver of Somerset and Roger Prygge, a fuller of Wiltshire were drinking together in the house of John Ellyot in HInton, when Nicholas Balland came in and started loudly proclaiming to them and others who had gathered there that the Pope remained head of the church. Some of these men marched him straight down to Sir Walter Hungerford at Farleigh Castle, who kept him until Cromwell should tell him what to do with him. He added that the said priest ‘hath byn dystracte out of hys mynds, and as yet is not much better’. Again, it seems that he was shown mercy, and his name appears later on the list of monks receiving a pension AFTERMATH On the closure of Hinton Priory, the monks were given generous pensions, consisting of an annuity (paid annually) and a gratuity (a one-off payment) Edmund Horde received £44 annuity and an £11 gratuity. Fourteen other monks received £6.13s 4d annuity with 33s gratuity. Two others gained £8 annuity and 10s gratuity. Five others (probably Lay brothers) received £2 annuity with 10s gratuity. And one - possibly a relative newcomer - was given £1 6s 8d with a gratuity of 6s 8d. Little is known about the next stage in the lives of most of the monks. Some may have joined one of the larger monasteries which were still functioning, and some may have joined another Carthusian monastery in Europe. For others who returned to a lay man’s life the shock of the changed circumstances must have been great, especially for monks from such a reclusive order. This must have been particularly so for the older monks, who from years spent in a private and ordered routine, with few decisions to be made, had to adjust to the cut and thrust of life in the outside world. Almost immediately after the closure, local gentry began the plunder of all that was left of the priory. Lord Hungerford had acted quickly and bought much of the priory from John Tregonwell, to the great annoyance of Sir Henry Long, who had also hoped to gain it. But when Lord Hungerford was absent, Sir Thomas Arundel plundered and carried away much of the stone from the buildings. Meanwhile, Harry Champneys of Orchardleigh, with others, broke into the prior’s cell and made off with many documents. Lead was stripped from many of the buildings and melted down, and later more stone was taken to build a large new house on the edge o the precinct