Community ID
Alternate Names
Duvaor Dovetherefore / Moniales de Duva or de keldholm/ (Duva)
Medieval Location
Originally part of Kirkby Moorside, in an area almost surrounded by a curve in the river Dovetherefore. / North Riding
Modern Location
Keldholme; 1 mile (?) of Kirkbymoorside, route 170
Corporate Status
S. Mary
Date Founded
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Foundation Information

Robert de Stuteville III and his wife, Helewise, is associated with the founding.

Notable Heads
Notable Members/Residents/Guests

In a letter dated December 9 1287, Archbishop Romanus requested that one Maud de Tiverington, an apostate, be received back into Keldholme. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 51.) On 30 December 1299, another letter was sent by the Chapter of York requesting that Cristiania de Styvelington, also an apostate, be re-admitted to Keldholme subject to salutary penance as prescribed by the Benedictine rule. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 29) However, this acts paled in comparision to the power struggle that was about to occur at Keldholme. In April of 1308, Archbishop Corbridge appointed Emma de Ebor to the position of prioress. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 89) However, she quickly resigned in the face of oposition by no less than six nuns: Beatrix de Roston, Anabilla de Lokton, Orphania de Nueton, Isabella de Langetoft, Mary de Holm, and Joan de Roseles. Archbishop Corbridge accepted Emma de Ebor's resignation and finding no candidate suitable for the office of prioress at Keldholme, appointed Joan de Pyking a nun of Rosedale. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 92) Unfortunately, Joan was not well-received by Isabella de Langetoft, Mary de Holm, Joan de Roseles and Anabilla de Lokton, who refused to accept her authority. As punishment, Isabella was sent to Handale, Mary to Swine, Joan to Nunappleton and Anabilla to Wallingwells. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 92b) On March 7, 1308 Emma de Stapleton was elected prioress. York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 95) At this point the controversy seemed to die down. However, the nuns contiued to be admonished for their unwillingness to accept authority. Again in March of 1308, two nuns were punished for conduct "contrary to the honesty of her rule." The first nun, Emma de Newcastle, was sent to Esholt and the second, Maud Bigot, was sent to Nunkeeling. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, fol. 96). On June 6, 1318 Mary de Holm was found guilty of incontinence with Sir William Lyly, chaplain. (York Archiepis. Reg. Romanus, Melton, fol. 232b.)

Population Counts

There were 8 in 1467; 6 in 1535.


Land holdings, a park, a mill, etc. in Kirkby Moorside. Keldholme also owned pastures in Ravenswykeet. The comunities assets were too low to be included in the 1291 Taxation roll.


In 1535 its annual income amounted to 29 pounds, 6 shillings, and 1 pence.

Early Documents

[1]Records confirmation of the founding by John I. (no date )
[2]Records the death of a confessed nun. (no date)

Art & Artifacts

Two coffin slabs from the priory are cemented into the brick garden wall of the present house (The Buildings of England: Yorkshire North, 216). Both lids have incised foliated crosses with the larger measuring 6 feet high and 2 feet wide at the top to 1 foot, 2 inches wide at the bottom, while the other is 5 feet high and 1 foot, 2 inches wide at the top to 11 inches wide at the bottom. The slabs were drawn by Rev. George Rowe for his book, Memorial Floor Slabs in England and Wales (London: British Museum, Add. 39913, f. 145), and he dated both around 1450.

Architecture & Archaeology

Aerial photos were taken on July 10, 1949 and July 15, 1952 (Cambridge Univ.: Dept. of Aerial Photo, DQ 61-62, JY 42-44) which produced six views of the site.


The community claimed to have a piece of the true cross and one of S. Stephen's fingers.

Admin. Notes


Marilyn Oliva
Date Started
Date Finished