Bolton Priory


Leeds, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

In 1154, a group of black-robed Augustinian canons (priests) and their Prior arrived to occupy land next to the village of Bolton-in-Wharfedale, made available to them by Lady Alice de Romille, the owner of nearby Skipton Castle. They had spent two years enduring harsh conditions on higher land in nearby Embsay, until Lady Alice provided this site near the River Wharfe, sheltered by the surrounding hills from the cruellest of the winter weather. They quickly constructed their first shelter of rough stone, signs of which are still visible in the base stones of the ruined High Altar, and began their long sojourn which we continue today.

The canons’ day was a long cycle of prayer and worship, seven days a week, starting at 2 a.m. and not finishing until dusk. They also found time to preach, teach, run hospitals, give shelter to travellers and perform the duties of local priests for the community.

They had a number of sources of income: agricultural produce, tithes, and rents from farms, mills and mines. This money was given to sustaining the community as well as meeting the costs of continuing to build and extend the buildings. There were many hazards: illness, harsh winters, famine and poverty when crops failed, raids from over the Scottish border.

Artwork Comments

  • Jazzdenski
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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