Border Features

          Lanercost Priory            

The 12th priory is located 2 miles north east of Brampton in an attractive and secluded valley.




Founded 1166 by the Augustinians, the priory was severely damaged by Scottish raiders in 13th and 14th century and abandoned 1536 during Dissolution of the Monasteries. 

Famous for the Lanercost Chronicle of 1201 to 1346 covering the eventful years of the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The Chronicle was actually composed in Carlisle and is said to be very biased being written for local consumption.

When Edward I began his assaults on Scotland, Lanercost soon became embroiled in the bitter hostilities and the monks no longer lived a life of tranquillity ands peaceful meditation.

Edward and his Queen Eleanor, made the priory their base whenever they were preparing to mount an attack on the Scots. 

 The priory was obliged to entertain them, which they found expensive and dangerous, but they were required  put on a show of pleasure at the visits, although they were always glad to see the royal party leave.

While at Lanercost he had given orders for Bruce's two younger brothers, Alexander and Thomas, to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and that this punishment to be meted out to any of his enemy who were unfortunate enough to fall into his hands. 

They were to be decapitated and their heads were to be brought to him at the priory.

In September 1306, when the king made his last visit, it was realised that he was ill and was unlikely to recover.

Prince Edward was given instruction that, when Edward died, his body was to be boiled and his bones were to be placed in a chest and carried in front at every battle. 
His heart was to be encased in a casket and taken to the Holy Land and buried there.

Prince Edward later ignored these requests.

The king knew that he had not long to live and asked to be taken to his favourite place at Brough where he could lie and curse Scotland across the narrow Solway Firth. 

He died at Brough to the great relief of the brethren at Lanercost - and the Scots.

As soon as an opportunity came, Bruce vented his anger on Lanercost for the hospitality they had afforded Edward during his visits and for the cruelty inflicted on prisoners. 

He threw the occupants into prison and plundered the contents of the priory. 
Later his daughter's son, David II, lit fires against the walls of the priory and the black marks can still be seen to this day.

The priory was eventually acquired by the Dacres of nearby Naworth Castle and grew rich from plunder from over the Border.

For years the monks resisted the raids of the moss-troopers enabling so much of the priory to be preserved till this day.

It was later occupied and restored.

An English Heritage site.   


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