Thursday, 26 March 2015
About 200m down the road from Isleham church is the Priory.
This is just a shell, but we found it open when we visited yesterday. I believe it is looked after these days by English Heritage. Although just a barn, it still retains many original features.
This is a Norman church dating from AD1090. Locally this is known as the Priory.
There are said to be tunnels connecting this with the Church; these have now been blocked up for many years.
This is an extract from Wikipaedia:
"The Church of St Margaret of Antioch was given to the Benedictine Abbey of St Jacut-de-la-Mer in Brittany, France around 1100 by Count Alan of Brittany or his successors and the Benedictines founded the alien priory on the site. In 1254 the monks moved to the sister cell at Linton, although the site seems to have been used as a priory after that time. Due to the tensions of a French owned monastery in England during the hundred years war, the lands were seized by the King in 1414 and granted to the Master and Fellows of Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1440."
See http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol10/pp420-427 .
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isleham_Priory Church .
There is free parking right outside the Priory.
Food is available at the Merry Monk in Isleham. Although prices are reasonable, this is without doubt in a class of it own. I highly recommend this place to eat. It is still a pub, but food is the main thrust. It is still run by Adrian Smith - truly exceptional.