Haltemprice Priory
Haltemprice Priory was an Augustinian monastery located approximately two miles south of the village of Cottingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The original monastic buildings have long since gone, although ruins of a farmhouse, built 1584 remain on site and incorporate some of the Priory stonework.

In 1320 Pope John XXII licenced Thomas Wake, of Liddell in Cumberland (who inherited the manor of Cottingham in 1300), to found an Augustinian monastery in Cottingham incorporating the church there. Some records suggest that the first Priory was actually built, and that canons of the house of Bourne in the Diocese of Lincoln had taken up residence there when legal complications arose. It was discovered, that due to certain statutes of English law, Thomas Wake's heirs or successors would have been able to order the future demolition of the Priory. It was for this reason that the Pope granted further license that the Priory should be moved to another suitable location, so it was with permission from both the Pope and Edward II that Thomas Wake moved the monastery to Newton - a now deserted medieval village located two miles south of Cottingham.


In the foundation charter of 1325, Thomas Wake bestowed the manors of Newton, Willerby and Wolfreton upon Haltemprice Priory (Originally Alta Prisa from the medieval French 'Haulte Emprise' or High Endeavour giving the modern name Haltemprice) with the rent and services of the free tenants and serfs therein. He also gave half the toll of the market of Cottingham, and of the fairs there, and the advowson of the churches of Cottingham, Kirk Ella, Wharram Percy, and Belton in the Isle of Axholme

Heyday 1320 - 1342
During the years 1320 - 1342 Haltemprice Priory experienced its heyday. At the peak of its influence, Haltemprice Priory controlled a large swathe of land extending from Willerby to Cottingham, Kirk Ella and Southwood. Despite the personal political, financial and military problems effecting him - including the capture of his castle at Liddle by King David of Scotland - Thomas Wake continued to bestow gifts upon the Priory until 1342 when records of further benefactions cease. Sir Thomas died in 1349 and was interred at the Priory.

Decline 1342 - 1534
From 1342 - 1534 the Priory's fortunes turned. A combination of mounting debt, administrative incompetence and a string of expensive litigation drained the ecclesiastical finances to the point where Priory could no longer be sustained by the flow of donations it received from its benefactors. The situation was dire, and at the time of Sir Thomas's death in 1349 the construction of the Priory was still not fully complete. Since then - with the decline in finances - the Priory had fallen into an even worse state of disrepair. In a report issued to Pope John XXIII (Antipope) in 1411 it was revealed that a gale had blown down the bell-tower, ruining the church and other buildings and that a fire had destroyed the Priory gateway and nearby offices. The Priory was in such a bad state of disrepair it afforded poor accommodation for those living there. From the years 1415 - 1458 Haltemprice Priory was made exempt from royal taxation on grounds of 'notorious poverty'. In 1515 a dispute came to pass between John Wymersley, the Prior of Haltemprice and the Sheriff of Hull, Edward Mattison over whom possessed legal authority over Willerby and Wolfreton. A battle ensued, only to be broken up by the Mayor of Hull, and settled in the Court of Star Chamber - three years later. The final ruling allowed Hull control of the freshwater springs conceding the royalties of Willerby and Wolfreton to the Priory.

During the Dissolution of the Monasteries orchestrated by Henry VIII the house was visited by commissioners Richard Layton and Thomas Legh. On 26 May 1536 they reported that the house was occupied by a prior and nine canons along with forty servants and boys. Haltemprice Priory was finally dissolved on 12 August 1536.

Priors of Haltemprice

Name Start of Office End of Office Thomas de Overton 1327 died 1328 Robert Engayne elected 1329 resigned John de Hickling confirmed 1331 Thomas de Elveley confirmed 1332 resigned 1338 William de Wolfreton 1338 died 1349 Robert de Hickling 1349 resigned 1357 Peter de Harpham 1357 resigned 1362 Robert de Hickling elected 1362 (? second time) occurs 1367 Peter (?de Harpham a second time) occurs 1370 Robert Claworth died 1392 William de Selby confirmed 1391-2 occurs 1414 Richard Worleby occurs 1415 resigned 1423 John Thweng elected 1424 (occurs 1425, 1430-5, 1437) Robert Thweng occurs 1435 1439 Thomas Dalehouse elected 1441 resigned 1457 Robert Holme confirmed 1457 William Maunsel elected 1471-2 died 1502 William Kirkham 1502 died 1506 John Wymmersley 1506 died 1514 John Nandyke confirmed 1514 occurs 1517 Nicholas Haldesworth elected 1518 Richard Fawconer elected 1528 resigned 1531 Robert Colynson elected 1531-2 last prior