Hereford City Library
Rev G Roberts, Some Account of Llanthony Priory
The Possessions of Llanthony Priory
Llanthony, Ewyas Lacy
Possessions of Llanthony.— The inheritance of Hugh de Lacy, augmented by the forfeited lands of his eldest brother Robert, descended, in default of his issue, to his two sisters, Emmeline, (Ermaline) who died childless, and Emme, who married some one unknown. She had a son, named Gilbert, who took the name of his mother, de lacy. A second Hugh de Lacy was the son of Gilbert. He adhered stedfastly to Henry the Second, rendered important services in the conquest of Ireland, obtained a grant of the whole territory of Meath, with all things belonging to it, and was married in Ireland, a.d. 1185. He gave lands and churches in Ireland to the Priory of Llanthony in Wales. " The church of Calph, with the tithes of Commgerie and Dunverie-lavy; the church of the town of Marmeri, with the tithes of the fishery; the church of Anye, the church of Valle Clone-lewy, the church of the town of Oggary in Meath, the church of Strathmolin, and the advowson of the vicarage of Lilleu; the church of Kilmessan, the church of Kilculy, the church of Delvene, the church of Kilimethe, the church of the town which did belong to Reginald de Turberville, the church of Kilcarwarn, the church of Dunboyne, the church of Rath-began, the church of Kilbray, and the church of Dumrath, and the land of Balibin, and the land which Gilbert the Cornishman held in the honour of Rashowth."
This Hugh de Lacy had two sons, Hugh de Lacy the third of that name, who died without issue, and Walter de Lacy, who confirmed the grants above mentioned, and added, moreover, the church of our Lady at Drogheda, in Ireland. Besides, he gave " all the valley with all its appurtenances, in which the church of St. John Baptist, of the first Llanthony, is situated; to wit, on one side of Kenentesset, and Askareswey, and by Ruggewey to Antefin; and on the side of Hatterell from the land of Seisil, the son of Gilbert, by Ruggewey to the bounds of Talgarth." This he gave in the amplest manner possible, to the Prior and canons, with the power of holding courts, and with jurisdiction upon all offences, of whatever kind, whether against person or property ; and he adds: " I grant that they shall have a gallows to belong to their court of justice, and to do justice in what part of their lands they shall think fit." He assigned also to the Priory full common of pasture in Wrynen, and for their swine in the wood of Mascoed, within the lordship of Ewyas. He married Margaret, the daughter of William Breos, of Brecknock, and Maud de St. Valery his wife, and died a.d. 1241, according to Matthew Paris: " Vir inter omnes nobiles Hibernian emincritissimus."
We have said before, that in default of issue from the five sons of Milo, earl of Hereford, founder of the Llanthony Priory at Gloucester, his estates were divided among his three daughters, the third of whom, Lucy, married the Lord Herbert; their issue was Peter; of Peter, Reginald; of Reginald, John. John, Fitz-Reginald, Lord Herbert, by his deed, granted to " the Prior and canons of the first Llanthony, a right of free pasture for their horses throughout all his lands in Wales, except in his park already enclosed; and also to go and take fish in the Mere."
The Mere here mentioned is called Llyn Savaddon, Brecinaumere Llangors, and Tal y llyn Pool. It is the largest sheet of water in South Wales, and only inferior to Bala in extent throughout the whole of Wales. A pathway still exists over the mountains between Llanthony and the Mere, by which the monks were accustomed to bring their fish. The tradition, common to many lakes, that it has swallowed up an ancient city, of which the remains may sometimes be seen, is still believed. Sir R. C. Hoare quotes the following lines from the monk of Chester:
Ad Brechnoc est vivarium,
Satis abundans pisciurn,
Ssepe coloris varii
Comma gerens Pomcerii,
Ssepe videbis inibi.
Sub lacu cum sit gelidus,
Minus auditur sonitus,
Si terrse princeps venerit,
Aves cantare jusserit.
Statim depromunt modules,
Nil concinunt ad cscteros.
These lines refer to the marvels for which the lake is celebrated; first for the sub-aqueous city; secondly for the acclamations with which the waterfowl, very numerous on its bosom, salute the genuine prince of South Wales; and thirdly for the reverberating sound made by the crashing of the ice in the winter. Giraldus has treated us with an anecdote upon the second marvel, (in cap. ii. Itin.) dressed up in his usual agreeable style, greedy of the wonderful, and most simple in the narrative. Leland says: " Llin Sevathan is a iiii. myles by south south est from Brekenok. It is in bredth a mile, and a ii. two miles of lenght, and wher, as it is depest a xiii. fadom. .... At great windes the water doth surge ther mcrvelusly. .... After that it is frosen, and with thaue beginnith to breeke, itmakithsuch a noise that a man wolde thinke hit a thunder. It berith as the principale tische a great numbre of bremes, and they appere in May in mightti scullcs, so that sumtime they broke large nettes; and ons frayed appereth not in the brimme of the water that yere againe. It bereth also good pikes, and perches in greate numbre. Trowtes also and chevyns by cumming in of Llevenny. Menne fische there tmiligneis, and they be very narrow." — Leland's If in. p. 70, vol. v. fol. G.9.
As we have Leland before us, we may here quote the short notice he gives of Llanthony: " Nanthonddye (Llanthonddye — Llan Nanthondy) a Priori of blake chanons (suppressid) stondith in the vale of Ewias (ther caullid Honddye Slade) xiiii. miles from Brekenok. But it is a nother Honddye then that cummith to Brekenok. This Priori was fair, and stoode betwixt ii. great hilles." — Vol. v. p. (J9.
King Edward II. gave a charter reciting and confirming the grants and concessions of Walter de Lacy, and John Fitz-Reginald, and permitting the privileges which had fallen through desuetude to be resumed upon payment of a fine.
The following is the list of charters preserved in Dugdale's Monasticon, from which the extracts above have been taken:
1. The charter of Milo, constable of Gloucester, recounting the lands and tithes he had given on the day of the dedication of the church at Gloucester, and subsequent grants made upon several occasions.
2. The charter of King John, reciting the grants of benefactors to the church of the blessed Mary and St. John Baptist, and the canons regular of Llanthony, and confirming the same, signed the 30th of July, in the first year of his reign (1199).
3. The charter of Walter de Lacy, reciting and confirming divers charters and lands in Ireland, given by his father Hugh to Llanthony in Wales.
4. The charter of King Edward II, reciting and confirming the grants and concessions of Walter de Laci and John Fitz-Reginald, and renewing their lapsed privileges. Signed the 26th day of January, in the 18th year of his reign (1325.)
5. A licence from King Edward IV. to unite the Priory of Llanthony the first, in Wales, and the Priory of Llanthony near Gloucester.
The chapter of St. David's sent letters to the Prior of Llanthony and his brotherhood (a.d. 1200 circa) as members of the church of St. David's, not to interfere in the election of Geoffrey, Prior of Llanthony, to the vacant see, pending the appeal of Giraldus Cambrensis to Rome, for the assertion of the rights of the metropolitan see of St. David's, and for the ratification of his own election.—Sir R. C. Hoare's Life of Giraldus, p. xxxiv.
Llanthony had to pay annually 20 lbs of wax (cersa), or 10s. to the cathedral church of St. David.
A charter, in the British Museum, of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, recites and confirms Walter de Lacy's charter, " de valle in qua ecclesia de Lantonia sita est," " concerning the valley in which the church of Llanthony is situated;" the manors of Cwmyoy, Walterstow and Newton, together with the rectories of Clodock, Cwmyoy, and Llansilow, are especially mentioned as having been conveyed to Llanthony.
The lordship of Ewyas was included in the Welch Marches. The castle stood in the parish of Clodock; scarcely a trace of it now remains.
The derivation of the word Ewyas is from Gwyas, or Gwias, signifying, in the British language, " a place of battle;" and describing, in all probability, the turbulent state of warfare in which the district was always plunged, owing to the clannish and family quarrels of the British among themselves, even before they contested with the Norman Baron, upon that spot, the pass into the mountainous counties, the citadel of their freedom
According to the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas, circa 1291, the Prior of Llanthony had as follows: —
Tax: Ecclcs: Pap. Nicholai. p. 170. heref' temp'.
Bona Tempar Prior’ Lanton' p'me.
£ s. d
Idem h'et apud Fabylcye duas caruc' tro pV cuj' lb'
0 13 4
De p'to octo acras p'c'acre
0 0 6
3 0 0
3 0 0
Ite' id' h't apud Froma tres caruc' terre p'c' cuj' tb1
1 0 0
De redd' ass ibid1 cu' opacoibus custom'.............
6 0 0
1 0 0
0 2 0
De finibus & pquis'
0 10 0
Ite'id'pcipit apud Webbele do redd'an'
0 6 0
0 3 0
It' idem h't apud Moneketon quatuor caruc' terre cuj' tb'
0 12 6
3 13 4
Duo niolend'aquatica pV cuj'ib'
1 5 0
De p'to sex acras pV cuj' lb'
0 0 6
Ite' id' liabct apud Hodenac' piscar' quo valet per annu'
2 0 0
Ite' id' habet'ap' Erdeshop do redd' ann'
2 0 0
Ite' h't unum molend' cxt' Hereford apud la Marep' c
0 13 4
Ite' idem pcipit do quodam gurgite ap Hodenac in Epis-
13 6 8
Item de redd'ass'ap'Heref
0 1 0
45 9 0
0 1 0
Do. Do. p. 283 land' temp'.—Prior de Lantony in Wal
'hot. apud Bergaven' de annuo redd'
0 5 0
Et unam hbr'pipis vel
0 1 0
Tanner, in his Notitia Monastica, p. 328, gives the valuation of Llanthony, in Wales, 26 Hen. VIII., thus: —
£87 9s. 5d
MS. C.C.C. (Corpus Christi, Cambridge.)
99 19 0
71 3 2
112 0 5
Summa inde, MS. Val.
The site was granted 38 Hen. VIII. to Nicha Arnold.
In the records of the First Fruits Office the total value is £79 3s. 2d., clear value £71 3s. 2d. In Stevens's Supple ment the summa inde is £112 Os. 5d. (as in MS. Valer,) and summa clara, as in Dugdale, £99 19s. 0d
But in a note appended to the last edition of Dugdale, the following is given as the correct valuation: —
Will. Ambrose, Prior.
Valet in temporal et spiritual
112 0 5
12 1 4
Et remanet ultra de claro valore
89 19 0
(Dugd. Monast., vol. vi., p. 570.)
Prioratus Llanthonise, in agro monumethensi
Comput’ ministrorum D> Regis temp Henr. VIII.
(Abstract of Roll, 31 Hen. VIII. Augmentation office.)
Lanthonise Primse nuper Prioratus Cella Lanthonise Secunda.
Com' Momn' & c.
£ s d
Lanthonia—Situs et terr'dnical’
5 10 10
Comyowte—Maner’ & c
47 2 0
0 6 8
Staunton in Guenth—Redd’ oust'ten'
2 7 4
Rubeum Castrum—Maner’ cum rector’
5 10 0
0 1 6
2 12 0
Oldecastell et Waterston—Firma rectoriarum
0 17 6
Comyowte S. Martin’, Ewyas Lacy S. Cleddoc’, Trewyn Capell’ S. Martin’—Firma x’
12 0 4
5 3 0
3 3 6
0 6 2
Widmarchstrete—Firma ten’ mol’ ‘
1 10 0
7 0 0
3 6 8
Rolleston Llancillo—Firma xmar '
0 13 4
0 13 4
0 16 6
Penparke Snothill—Portio ’
1 15 0
Feotheck—Portio xm '
0 12 2
Whitewall—Portio xm '
0 4 0
1 15 8
Trewern in Ewyas Lacy—Portioxm ’
1 3 4
Longa Villa in Ewyas Lacy—Portio xm’
2 6 8
1 10 4
Fossecombe in Ewyas Lacy Portio xm '
1 5 8
Burybarne in Ewyas Lacy—Portioxm '
2 11 4
Trelandon in Ewyas Lacy—Portio x’
0 14 0
Overbrinsop et Netherbrinsop—Portiones xm '
1 17 4
Yasor—Portio xm '
1 17 4
0 7 0
Reprinted from the Archaeologia Cambrensis No lll