Community ID
Medieval Location
The Syon buildings were originally begun in Twickenham, starting in 1431-32.
Modern Location
Syon; It is now at South Brent, Devonshire.
Corporate Status
Holy Savior, S. Mary, and S. Bridget
Date Founded
1414 (circa)
Date Terminated
1539 (see note, below)
Religious Order
Foundation Information

The first novices professed in 1420. Oliva sets the foundation date at 1414.

Notable Members/Residents/Guests
Dependent Communities

S. Bartholomew S. John the Baptist , and the hospital at Playden, Sussex from 1461-1502.

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

Marguérite du Saint-Sacrement et le Père Gibieuf
Birgittines in contact. Early correspondence between England and Vadstena
S. Nicholas (hospital) Before the foundation of Syon there were plans to convert the hospital of S. Nicholas at York into a Brigittine Abbey.

State Of Medieval Structure

After the dissolution of the monasteries the abbey was taken over by Henry Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector to Edward VI. The Duke built Syon House over the abbey site, the exact whereabouts of which were unknown until an archaeological dig uncovered the remains of the abbey in 2003. After the execution of the Duke of Somerset Syon House became the property of Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, whose family continues to own the land to this day.

Secondary Sources

St. Bridgit, Henry V, and the Syon Abbey
Transplanting the Vineyard: Syon Abbey 1539-1861
The Story of the English Bridgettines of Syon Abbey.
Work and Work Ethics in the Nunnery of Syon Abbey in the fifteenth century
The History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery.
The Building of Syon Abbey
What the Nuns Read: Literary Evidence from the English Bridgettine House, Syon Abbey
Kings, Saints, and Nuns: Gender, Religion, and Authority in the Reign of Henry V
Syon and the New Learning
Syon Abbey : the library of the Bridgettine nuns and their peregrinations after the Reformation : an essay
Dugdale's Monasticon Volume 6 Part 1
Syon Nunnery, in Middlesex
Victoria History of the County of Middlesex1:182-91 available online at ">"> [Victoria County History]
Religious Instruction at Syon in the Early Sixteenth Century
Reading lessons at Syon Abbey : The myroure of oure ladye and the mandates of vernacular theology
The Book and the Brotherhood: Reflections on the Lost Library of Syon Abbey
The mole in the vineyard: Wyclif at Syon in the fifteenth century
“Hid diuinite”: the spirituality of the English Syon Brethren
The textual community of Syon Abbey
The nuns of Syon Abbey in choir: spirituality and influences
A neglected history in the prehistory of Syon Abbey: the letter of Katillus Thornberni in Uppsala University Library Pappersbrev 1410-1420
Syon Abbey
The heresiarch, the virgin, the recluse, the vowess, the priest: some medieval audiences for Pelagius's Epistle to Demetrias
Preaching at Syon Abbey
Dial M for Mystic: mystical texts in the library of Syon Abbey and the spirituality of the Syon brethren
Further thoughts on the spirituality of Syon Abbey
The role of the monasteries of Syon and Sheen in the production, ownership and circulation of mystical literature in the late Middle Ages
Syon, Caxton, and the Festial
Nuns as Patrons, Artists, Readers: Bridgettine Woodcuts in Printed Books Produced for the English Market
Bridgettine spirituality and musical practices at Syon Abbey

Miscellaneous Information

At the termination date, many relocated to Dermond, a Bridgittine community in Flanders (may be Zwijveke). They returned to England in 1557.

Manuscripts Produced

A manuscript held in Oxford (Bod. Lib., Laud misc. 416) was owned by the nuns of Syon. This compilation manuscript represents an intriguing mix of genres, modes, and ideologies: it contains part of Chaucer's "Parliament of Fowls," some Lydgate ("Siege of Thebes" and "The Secrets of Old Philosophers") as well as other non-monastic texts.

Admin. Notes

Reference to Bod. MS from Anne Clark Bartlett

Marilyn Oliva; Anne Clark Bartlett, Ericka Swensson
Date Started
Date Finished