Harrold History
Early Ancestors
Iron Age, Roman & Saxon Farmstead Settlement
The Domesday Survey
The Priory at Harrold
Fairs & Markets
Harrold Bridge
Parish Church of St Peter
Major Landowners in Harrold
Harrold Old Manor
Harrold Hall
Freddie Crouch: Harrold's Last Blacksmith
Caleb Lefevre
Travel, Transport & Mail
Leather Making
Bridgman Doors
Public Houses and Inns of Harrold
Paul McCartney, Hey Jude & Harrold 1968
Dr Richard Mead
Anne Alston & Harrold Hall






The Priory at Harrold



Harrold Priory, or Nunnery, deserves special mention because almost certainly it was the earliest religious establishment in Harrold.

The Priory for nuns was founded by Samson le Fort around 1138. He was not of a Bedfordshire family, but in right of his wife, Albreda de Blosseville, held Harrold as a life tenant (for the Honour of Huntingdon) until the succession of her son. Samson was prompted to found Harrold Priory by his kinsman, Hilbert Pelice, a canon of Arrouaise, and so the Priory was at first a cell of Arrouaise, c.1145. The distance made the connection difficult, and in 1177 Arrouaise seems to have ceded its rights to Missenden Abbey. This also caused friction, and in 1188 Harrold's independence from Arrouaise was acknowledged and it became an Augustinian priory under the bishop.

Unfortunately the Priory did not escape the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. In 1544 the site was granted to William Lord Parr, and again, in 1555, to John Cheney and William Duncombe. The only part of the convent building which remained was the refectory, later to become a barn and known by the name of the Hall-barn.

For more information, together with a list of prioresses from 1188 to 1536, click on to the Bedfordshire Community Archive Pages of Harrold.






A list of Prioresses of Harrold Priory

Agnes died 1245

Basile de la Legh, elected 1245, occurs 1252

Juliane Amice, occurs 1264 and 1268

Margery of Hereford, resigned 1304

Cecily de Cantia, elected 1304

Petronilla of Radwell, elected 1335, resigned 1354

Christine Murdak, elected 1354, resigned 1357

Maud de Tichemersh, elected 1357, occurs 1364

Katherine of Tutbury, elected 1369, occurs 1384

Emma Drakelowe, occurs 1405 and 1413

Elizabeth Chiltern, resigned 1470

Margaret Pycard, elected 1470

Helen Crabbe, died 1501

Eleanor Pygot, elected 1501, died 1509

Agnes Gascoigne, elected 1509

Elinor Warren, surrendered 1536 (at the Dissolution – granted a pension of £7)






The web-site of the village of Harrold