Esholt
Community ID
 
854
 
Alternate Names
 
Nunnery of S. M ary and S. Leonard
 
Town
 
York
 
Diocese
 
York
 
Region
 
Yorkshire
 
Medieval Location
 
West Riding near Sinningthwaite Sinningthwaite.
 
Modern Location
 
Esholt; 1 1/2 miles sourth of Guisley, route 65
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary, S. Leonard and S. James
 
Date Founded
 
1172 or earlier
 
Date Terminated
 
1539
 
Religious Order
 
Cistercian
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

Geoffrey Haget or Simon Ward. Eventually the Ward family became patrons. It may be an offshoot of Sinningthwaite.

 
Notable Heads
 

The last prioress was Elizabeth Pudsey, who has a tombstone monument in a wall of a laundry house in the rear of the more recent main dwelling.

 
Population Counts
 

When it was dissolved after 1537, there were 11 nuns.

 
Dependency Of
 

Possibly a dependency Sinningthwaite. More probably it was only founded by that house. What about the other 2 founders mentioned then?

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Margaret Clifford, a widow, gave them the church of Belton inside the Isle of Axholme, which was confirmed in 1379 by Richard II.

 
Assets/Property
 

All assets totalled 13 pounds, 5 shillings and 4 pence at dissolution (1535).

 
Income
 

Church of Belton on Isle of Axholme

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

In 1445 the buildings were in ruin. The nunnery became the foundation for an eighteenth-century house constructed for Sir Walter Calverly in 1706-1709 which remains standing. In the basement are small Gothic windows, a fireplace with an 8 foot long stone mantle, and two drains which date from the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. A physical description of the house was made by the Suppression Commission (London: P.R.O., SP 5/2/25-47) for 1539. Two stone columns sit in a field north of the site and a tombstone monument to the last prioress, Elizabeth Pudsey, exists in the wall of a laundry house in the rear of the main dwellig. A reconstruction of the convent's physical plan was drawn from the dissolution report (Esholt Priory, 4) and an amateur watercolor depicting the convent as it might have appeared in the Middle Ages currently hangs in the eighteenth-century home (Medieval English Cistercian Nunneries: Their Art and Physical Remains).

 
Manuscript Sources
 

Report by the Suppression Commission (London: P.R.O., SP 5/2/25-47)

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

termination date (needs verification) (Knowles)

 
Admin. Notes
 

[V0339]

 
Contributors
 
WRL Project
 
Date Started
 
1172
 
Date Finished
 
1539
 
Length
 
2277