Nun Monkton, History transcription:
The some account of St. Mary's Church
at Nun Monkton.
Some Account of the Church of S. Mary NunMonkton
abridged from "Churches of Yorkshire" Leeds, T.W. Green, 1844.
"The name Monechetone" by which this village was known at the period of the Domesday Survey, seems to afford a clue to its earliest history; for its etymology fairly warrants the conjective that it was the site of at least, a part of the possession of one of those monasteries, so many of which existed in the seventh and eighth centuries in this country, and perished in the invasion of the Danes in the year 867.
From the Domesday Survey we learn that it was one of the estates granted by the Conqueror to Osbern de Arches.
In the following century, and in the reign of Stephen, William de Arches, and Iretta his wife, founded here, a Priory of Benedictine nuns, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and endowed it with their whole estate in this township, and parts of their estates in Hammerton, Thorp, and Askham Richard.
The year in which the confirmation of the Charter was made by Archbishop Murdac is not known, but must have been before 1153, since this Archbishop died in that year.
At different periods, this Convent became possessed of lands at Acton, Beningborough-Cathale, Great Hammerton, Newton &c.
Of the Prioresses of this Convent, very few names have been preserved. The first, was, probably, Matilda, daughter of the Founders, a century later.
Avice Oct. 1268
Alice de Thorp 1346
Margaret de Willesthorpe 1365
Isabel Nevill August 1376
Margaret Fayrfax 1394
Margaret Cotum died 1421
Matilda de Goldsborough, had, on April 27th 1424, fifteen nuns under her care.
Johanna Slingsby 1470
Margaret Wat 1514
Johanna was the last Prioress, and surrendered the Priory to Henry VIII, on February 8th 1536. By him the possessions were given to Lord Latimer, whose widow (Catharine Parr) became the sixth, and last wife of that King. Henry, 8th Earl of Northumberland was a possessor, for taking part in a supposed plot in favour of Mary Queen of Scots, he was committed to the Tower of London, and was found dead in his bed, - wounded with three pistol bullets, on 21st June 1585.
A portrait of him is now in the Priory.
On the North of the nave, are two gravestones, in upright position, probably of the 13th Century, with beautiful crosses in excellent preservation.
In the S.W. corner of nave, are three undisturbed grave stones of Prioresses of a later date. The ancient Altar slab with five Crosses (symbolical of the five wounds of our Lord) lies under the Holy Table. In the base of the Font is a cavity (seldomfound) in which was placed the vessel containing the Chrism (holyoil) once used in Baptism.
The tower contains 3 Bells, with the inscriptions
1st Ihs MARIA I L (ancient)
2nd Repent Least Ye Perish (17th Century)
3rd Recast by Mess'r Mears 1873
Isaac Crawhall Esq'r Lord of the Manor, John Binns, C.W.W.
The lovely East window in memory of an Aunt of the present owner G. Gawhall, Esq: is by Burns-Jones, and Norris - One window on the North, and another on the South are Memorials of a brother, and a sister of Mr. Crawhill.
The several brasses are Memorials of former Owners dating from the reign of Charles II.
The church was restored in 1873 - the Chancel at the cost of Isaac Crawhill Esq. "To the Glory of God, and in memory of Ann, his wife."
Rich as Yorkshire is in 'Parish Churches' it does not -(for the dimensions-) boast of a fairer example than that of Saint Mary, Nun Monkton.
O how amiable are thy dwellings: "Thou Lord of Hosts"
Data transcribed by
from photography by Colin Hinson