Burscough Priory

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Burscough Priory
Burscough Priory, August 2014.jpg
Ruins of Burscough Priory
Location map United Kingdom Borough of West Lancashire.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within the Borough of West Lancashire
Monastery information
Order Augustinian
Establishedc. 1190
Dedicated toSt Nicholas
Founder(s)Robert Fitz-Henry
Location Burscough, Lancashire, England
Coordinates 53°34′59″N2°51′23″W / 53.5830°N 2.8563°W / 53.5830; -2.8563 Coordinates: 53°34′59″N2°51′23″W / 53.5830°N 2.8563°W / 53.5830; -2.8563
Grid reference SD 43409 09944
Visible remains2 piers and some foundations
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameRemains of Burscough Priory
Designated11 May 1953
Reference no. 1196625
Official nameBurscough Augustinian Priory

Burscough Priory, at Burscough, Lancashire, England, was an Augustinian foundation, established in around 1190 and dissolved in around 1536. Some remains of the church survive.

Burscough village and civil parish within West Lancashire in North West England

Burscough is a small town and civil parish within West Lancashire in North West England, to the north of Ormskirk and Skelmersdale.The parish also includes the hamlet of Tarlscough and the Martin Mere Wetland Centre. The population taken at the 2011 Census was 9,182.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.



The priory was founded in c. 1190 by Robert Fitz-Henry, Lord of Lathom, for Augustinian canons. In 1390 the Lordship of the Manor and lands of Lathom passed to the Stanley family, several of whom were buried in the Priory, notably Sir Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley, K.G., of Lathom and Knowsley, in February 1459, his wife Joan in 1466, and their son Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. [1]

Lathom village and civil parish in Lancashire, England

Lathom is a village and civil parish in Lancashire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Ormskirk. It is in the district of West Lancashire, and with the parish of Newburgh forms part of Newburgh ward. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 914. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through Lathom.

Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley English peer and King of Mann

Sir Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley, titular King of Mann, KG, of Lathom and Knowsley, Lancashire, was a Privy Councillor, Comptroller of the Royal Household, Lieutenant-Governor of Ireland (1431–36), Chief Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster, Knight of the Shire for Lancashire, Constable & Justice of Chester, Chamberlain of North Wales, Lord Chamberlain (1455), and from 15 January 1456 was summoned by Writ to Parliament as Lord Stanley.

Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby English nobleman, titular King of Mann and stepfather to King Henry VII of England

Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, KG was an English nobleman and politician. He was a titular King of Mann, and stepfather to King Henry VII of England. He was the eldest son of Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley and Joan Goushill.

The priory was dedicated to St. Nicholas. There was an associated leper hospital. [2] Fitz-Henry endowed it with land in Burscough, the entire adjoining township of Marton, the chapel of St. Leonard of Knowsley, all the mills on his demesne, and the patronage of three parish churches—at Ormskirk, Huyton, and Flixton. The ownership of Flixton however proved problematic. [3] From the 1330s until the dissolution, the vicar of Ormskirk was always one of the canons of the priory. [3] A Royal Charter that was granted by Edward I of England in 1286 to the monks at Burscough Priory permitted a regular market nearby in Ormskirk.

Advowson or patronage is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living, a process known as presentation.

Edward I of England King of England

Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was commonly referred to as The Lord Edward. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved from an early age in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and defeated the baronial leader Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Within two years the rebellion was extinguished and, with England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land. The crusade accomplished little, and Edward was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 August.

Ormskirk Market town in West Lancashire, England

Ormskirk is a market town in West Lancashire, England, 13 miles (21 km) north of Liverpool, 11 miles (18 km) northwest of St Helens, 9 miles (14 km) southeast of Southport and 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Preston. Ormskirk is known for its gingerbread.

As a priory with an income of less than £200, it was dissolved under the act of February 1536. [2] At the time of its surrender the religious community consisted of only five canons, including the prior. [3] The Earl of Derby made attempts to save the church, in which many of his family had been buried, but they came to nothing. [3]

Following the dissolution eight bells from the Priory were moved to Ormskirk Parish Church, where a tower had to be built specially, as the existing steeple could not support them. The remaining bells were removed to Croston church. The tenor bell at the Ormskirk Church (the third bell from the Priory) has a Latin inscription which translates as "J.S. de Burscough, Esq., and E. my wife, made [this bell] in honour of the Trinity. R.B. 1497". It also bears the symbols of the rose, portcullis and Fleur-de-lis which suggests that the bell was presented in honour of a visit from Henry VII as these were some of his favourite badges. [4]

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Ormskirk Church in Lancashire, England

The Church of St Peter and St Paul is in the market town of Ormskirk, Lancashire, England. Dating from no later than the 12th century, it is one of only three churches in England to have both a western tower and a central spire, and the only one to have them both at the same end of the church. It is an active Anglican parish church in the Diocese of Liverpool. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.

Croston village and civil parish in Lancashire, England

Croston is a village and civil parish in Lancashire, England between Chorley and Southport and is next to the River Yarrow. St. Michael's and All Angels' Church is at the centre of the village. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 2,917. At the end of Church Street, there is a stone cross which was erected in 1953. There is a 15th century cobbled pack horse bridge which crosses the River Yarrow. The village green is used as a venue for the annual May Day Madness, Bastille Day celebrations and Christmas Fair.

Portcullis heavy vertically-opening gate typically found in medieval fortifications

A portcullis is a heavy vertically-closing gate typically found in medieval fortifications, consisting of a latticed grille made of wood, metal, or a combination of the two, which slides down grooves inset within each jamb of the gateway.

The Priory gives its name to the local high school, the Burscough Priory Science College, until recently known as the Burscough Priory High School. The school has an enrolment of around 750 pupils of ages 11–16 years.

Student learner, or someone who attends an educational institution

A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution who attends classes in a course to attain the appropriate level of mastery of a subject under the guidance of an instructor and who devotes time outside class to do whatever activities the instructor assigns that are necessary either for class preparation or to submit evidence of progress towards that mastery. In the broader sense, a student is anyone who applies themselves to the intensive intellectual engagement with some matter necessary to master it as part of some practical affair in which such mastery is basic or decisive.

Other burials


According to a survey of the ruins made in 1886, the church was cruciform in plan with a presbytery (chancel) 42 feet (13 m) by 24 feet (7.3 m), a central tower 22 feet 6 inches (6.86 m) square; north transept and south transepts, and nave 100 feet (30 m)by 24 feet 6 inches (7.47 m) with a north aisle. On the south side of the nave was a cloister 67 feet (20 m) square. [2] The seal used on the surrender deed of the priory shows a view of the monastic buildings. [2]

The parts still standing above ground consist of the two piers which originally supported the north side of the crossing tower of the church. They survive to some height above the springing of the crossing arches, although the voussoirs of the arches themselves have been removed. [2] There are fragmentary walls projecting from the eastern pier to the north and east, while the other incorporates a small trefoil-headed recess or aumbry. These remains probably date from the late 13th century. [2]

See also

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  1. Richardson, Douglas, Magna Carta Ancestry, Baltimore, Md., 2007, p.771. ISBN   0-8063-1759-0
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Historic England. "BURSCOUGH PRIORY (40120)". PastScape. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Farrer, William; Brownbill, J., eds. (1908). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 2. Victoria County History. pp. 148–152. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  4. Harland, John; Wilkinson, Turner (1873). Lancashire Legends, Traditions, Pageants, Sports. G. Routledge. pp. 48–49.