Community ID
Alternate Names
Minster; Minster in Sheppey; Newington
Medieval Location
Originally at Newington, a Benedictine community.
Modern Location
Corporate Status
Date Founded
1087 (at Sheppey)
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Benedictine, then Augustinian in 1130, then Benedictine in 1186
Benedictine / Augustinian
Foundation Information

Located on the antique site of the female Benedictine community of Minster, S. Sexburga, that ceased to exist sometime before 1066. The prioress of the community at Newington, which was founded circa 650, was murdered by the cook and the nuns relocated to the antique female Benedictine site at Sheppey in 1087. Archbishop William de Corbeuil transformed it into an Augustinian community about 1130.

Population Counts

There were 7 nuns in 1381. Prior to 1511 there were 14 nuns. At about the time of suppression there were 10 nuns besides the prioress and at suppresion 8 nuns besides the prioress are mentioned (Medieval Religious Houses in England and Wales, 229).


There was a visitation in 1296 by Archbishop Winchelsey. He ordered that there be silence in most areas of the monastery, and that the nuns refrain from garrulous or quarrelsome behavior, nor should they hold meetings in secret or take money without license from the prioress. Furthermore, the bishop ordered in 1299 that nuns were not to leave the house without permission. There was another visitation on 2 October, 1511 by Archbishop Warham. At this time, the prioress was ordered to make an inventory of the accounts, to hire a woman servant, to build an infirmary as soon as possible and finally, to repair the chancel of Bobbing before midsummer.


Sir Roger de Northwode, in return for his generosity he was buried beneath the altar. In 1303, the nuns aquired land from Roger's son, Henry de Northwode, in return for prayers and divine services for the souls of his parents (Roger and his wife Bona). Peter Cleve left money for repairs of the chapel and the belfry in 1479.


The nuns received income from the church of Menspre (13 l. 6s. 8 d.) and the church of Bobbynge (6 l. 13 s. 4 d.) in Sydngborne and from the church of Gillingham (40 l.) and the church of Grean (13 l. 6 s. 8 d.) in Shorham (Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 1, 91).


In 1535 the net income of the community was over 129 pounds.

Architecture & Archaeology

The twelfth century church lay beside the remains of the seventh century church (See Veiled Women, 122, n. 7; see also Anglo-Saxon Architecture, vol. 1, 429-430).

Manuscript Sources

Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Winchelsey, fol. 63, 188b.

Miscellaneous Information

Order 4: Augustinian in 1396 at the termination date. The Rule changed with the archbishop's rule. In 1303, the church and cemetery were re-consecrated after they were tainted with bloodshed. The monastery and its lands were granted to Sir Thomas Cheyne in 1539.

Admin. Notes


WRL Project
Date Started
Date Finished