A Brief History
On March 3rd 1103, an initial grant of monies and lands was made which founded the great Priory of Our Lady and St Cuthbert at Radford, near Worksop. The Canons of St Augustine were to establish Worksop Priory for the worship of God and the service of the local community.
This is described by a later medieval writer, the clerk Pygote, in his “Rhyming Pedigree”:
WHICH had that afficiance and inspiration
The monastery of WORSOPPE first for to found
Mortest thereto goods thereupon
Wooddes, medues and moundes; to say a good grounde,
Therefore in speciall, certs we are bounde
To pray for his soule and his successours
As we nightly do, and dayly at all houres.
This was founded in KINGE HENRYE dayes
The first as we rede after the Conquest
Of William Conquerer, as the Cronicles says
Third sonne, which England mightely possest,
Third day of the month of Mars as is cest,
The third yere rennynge of Henry aforesayd
As in diverese Monuments tyl us is conveyed.
Later, the original grant to the Priory was confirmed as follows (originally in latin): –
BE IT KNOWN
to the Archbishop of York and to the Archdeacon of Nottingham and to all Barons,
clerks and laymen, French and English, of all England and of Nottinghamshire
that WILLIAM LOVETOT, by grant and consideration of Emma his wife and his sons,
grants and confirms by his writ the gift which he has made to God
and holy church and to the Canons of St Cuthbert of Wirkesop in perpeptual alms.
FIRST the whole chapelry of all his house, with tithes and oblations.
Next, the Church of Wirkesop in which the Canons are, with the lands the tithes
and things belonging to the same church, and fish ponds and mill
which is near the Church of Wirkesop
and the meadow which is near the mill and fish pond.
And moreover, all the tithes and pennies from his rents as well in Normandy as in England.
In the field of Wirkesop, one carucate of land in Inwara, and his meadow of Catalam
and all his churches of his demesne of the Honour of Blithe,
namely: the church of Gringley and the church of Misterton, and the church of Walkeringham,
and the church of Normanton, and the church of Colston, and the church of Willoughby
and the church of Wyshou, and his part of the church of Truswell,
with all the lands, tithes and things to the aforesaid churches belonging.
Likewise also the tithe of his pannage, and of honey, and of venison and of fishes and fowles,
and of malt and of his mills and all his things out of which tithe is accustomed or ought to be given.
And he wills and firmly grants that the aforesaid Canons
may hold all these things well and in peace, freely and honourably,
with all the liberties and free customs which he himself holds them.
Eger the priest, Wulvet the priest, Ilbert the scribe, Roger de Lincoln,
Edo the Steward, Erturus the Reeve, Wiger de St Albun, Count de Shefeld,
Gilbert de Gayteford, Roger de Sayendale,
WILLIAM de LOVETOT
The Lovetots were the local landowners, living at Worksop Manor. Their descendents the Furnivals, Talbots and Howards
were to rise to become one of the most powerful family dynasties in England, as the Rhyming Pedigree tells.
… Sr John Talboite, first Sr John Fournivall,
Was most worthie warriour we reade of all.
For by his Knighthode and his chivalrye
A Knight of the Garter first he was made;
And of King Henry sixt, Erle Scrovesberye
To which Sr. John his sone succession hade
And his noble successors now thereto sade
God give them good speede in their progresse
And heaven at their end, both more and lesse.
The fortunes of the Priory rose with them.
In later years Worksop Priory was to become a famous centre of learning and piety.
Sheffield was in those days an unimportant village – and when it needed a church, it was the Canons from Worksop Priory
who went to build it.