Thursday, 11 March 2010

Newark Priory

Just a few miles from where I was brought up, the ruin of an old priory stands in a field, with only cows for company.

Although I guess it was eventually destroyed by Henry the Eighth, it was under threat long before he sent the demolition team in, as it had acquired a very similar reputation to that of the monastery at Kos when at it's peak of activity.

Rumour had it that the monks of Newark were so debauched and licentious, that they went so far as to dig a tunnel beneath the river Wey in order to facilitate clandestine meetings with the nuns in a neighboring convent, a few hundred yards away on the other bank. I like to think that was true.

In the late 1960's, a girl friend and I stumbled across a satanic black-magic session going on there, and we actually managed to scare the hell out of the participants by creeping up on them whilst dressed in hooded cloaks that we both happened to be wearing. Mine was an American Army, water-proof poncho, but it looked pretty good in the darkness. They must have thought they had conjured us up. We found black candles and a pig's head, after they had made a run for it. The silly sods - I hope it taught them a lesson.

I love these old ecclesiastical ruins. I wonder if I would like them as much if they were still full of rich, debauched monks?


  1. Reminds me a little of Waverley Abbey, another of Henry VIII's dissolution projects.

  2. See 'Waverley Abbey', above, Cro.