Mid Anglia Group, Richard III Society

How would Thetford Priory have looked?

Thetford Priory was, of course, a Cluniac Priory. Whilst some walls stand away from the entrance, in other areas only the foundations remain and the Mowbray tomb locations are no longer marked, although those of the Howards, moved to Framlingham, remain.

If only, I hear you say, some kind of restoration could take place. That would be extremely expensive but there is a comparable building, although it suffered less dilapidation in the first place. Paisley Abbey was also a Cluniac priory and constructed in the twelfth century, although it had to be rebuilt in 1307 after an Edward I visit. Just nine years after that, on March 2nd, Marjorie Bruce, the king’s daughter married to Walter the Steward, fell off her horse nearby, whilst heavily pregnant. Although she died, her son was born alive and survived to 74, eventually succeeding his uncle as Robert II, the first Stewart King and progenitor of the Scottish nobility.

Paisley Abbey, arguably the Strathclyde region’s greatest historic attraction, is known as the “Cradle of the Royal House of Stewart” – literally, in fact. It is now a Church of Scotland church and has appeared on Songs of Praise in recent years, whilst the restoration continues. Robert II is among those buried there, with many of his family.

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