Canons Ashby Priory
Canons Ashby Priory was an Augustinian monastic establishment in Northamptonshire, England. The Priory was founded by Stephen La Leye on a site to the south of the present church between 1147 and 1151, during the reign of Henry II . In 1253 the Augustinians were granted a licence to build the Norwell, which still exists to the north of the present church, to supply water to the priory. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s, the priory and its land were granted to Sir Francis Bryan, a close ally of Henry VIII. Bryan only held the estate for a short while before selling it in 1538 to Sir John Cope, a wealthy Banbury lawyer. Sir John's daughter Elizabeth inherited what is thought to have been the priory farmhouse. In 1551 she married John Dryden, who extended the building to form the earliest parts of Canons Ashby House. Part of the building survives: St Mary's, the parish church of Canons Ashby, dates from about 1250 and this, together with Canons Ashby House, is now owned by the National Trust. Its power and size can be judged by its outlying buildings with cover a huge area of the surrounding countryside. The remains of priory's Hospitalium can still be seen as the monastic building centred around the parish church of Maidford, some five miles away.


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