Westwood
Community ID
 
838
 
Town
 
Worcester
 
Diocese
 
Worcester
 
Region
 
Worcestershire
 
Modern Location
 
Westwood
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary
 
Date Founded
 
1154-1189
 
Date Terminated
 
1536-7
 
Religious Order
 
Order of Fontevraud; Benedictine by 1374
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Congregation
 
Fontevraud
 
Foundation Information
 

Although originally a community of the Fontevrault order and congregation, this tie was severed by the time of the Bishop of Worcester's list in 1374. Westwood was established in the middle of the 12th century by Eustacia de Say and her son Osbert Fitz-hugh(Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 121). It is possible that the foundation of Westwood may initially have been encouraged and planned by Abbess Matilda, Henry II's aunt (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 123).

 
Population Counts
 

There were 14 nuns in 1381. There were perhaps 6 nuns at the time of suppression (Medieval Religious Houses in England and Wales, 220).

 
Priveleges & Papal Exemptions
 

In 1224 the foundation was exempted from episcopal jurisdiction and made to answer only to the pope. In 1277 the house received special protection from King Edward II.

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

Westwood had connections to the male priory of Worcester. Although the house was originally of the order of Fontevrault there seemed to be little connection between Westwood and the abbey of Fontevrault and it was not listed as a one of its alien houses.

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Westwood had important patrons, such as Ida of Boulogne, daughter of Count Matthew and Mary of Blois, who made a grant of land to the community (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 121, 126); Alicia, the lady of Salwarpe; John English; William Bray; William Fitz-Alewy; Cecilia de Tuberville; John, the dean of Droitwich; Richard, priest of St. Augustine of Dodderhill; Adam Fitz-Adam Luvetun and Robert de Caverugge.

 
Social Characteristics
 

The house was primarily composed of daughters of the nobility.

 
Income
 

In 1535 the community's net income was valued over 75 pounds.

 
Litigations
 

The confirmation charter of Henry II included wide privileges for the nunnery, including that the nuns were not to be impleaded for any of their possessions unless before the king himself (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 122). Westwood had a dispute over the church of Dodderhill (Women Religious: The Founding of English Nunneries After the Norman Conquest, 126).

 
Early Documents
 

A confirmation charter of Henry II from 1155 or 1158.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

British Library Cotton MS Vespasian E. ix, fo. 6.

 
Published Primary Sources
 

Recueil des actes de Henri II,Roi d'Angleterre et Duc de Normandie concernant les provinces francaises et les affaires de France, ed. L. Delisle and E. Berger, 4 vols. (Paris, 1909-27), i, 175-6; no. 73.
The Saxon charters of Bradford-on-Avon and Westwood

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

Foundation date at the age of Henry II.

 
Admin. Notes
 

[V0931]
From Foundation Information field "a Pr 1316/not an alien prior in bishop of Worcestershire list"

 
Contributors
 
WRL Project
 
Date Started
 
1154
 
Date Finished
 
1536
 
Length
 
1525