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Michelham Priory

Set on its very own island on the Cuckmere Valley, an ancient house formed from an Augustine Priory.

Upper Dicker, East Sussex, BN27 3QS

Michelham Priory in Upper Dicker

Experience this house

History

Accessibility

– The gardens, ground floor of the house, cafe, barn and courtyard area are all accessible.
– Sensory tours available by prior arrangement.
– Assistance dogs are welcome across the whole property.
– Access aids include loan wheelchairs, a dedicated disabled toilet and ramps where necessary.

Dogs
We welcome dogs at Michelham Priory House & Gardens. Due to the historic nature of the site and the wildlife that calls these places home, we ask that you keep dogs on short leads at all times, there will also be some Dog Free Zones.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.
The Augustinian Priory of the Holy Trinity was founded at Michelham in 1229 by Gilbert de Aquila, whose father had been a benefactor of Bayham Abbey in Kent and also had connections to Otham Abbey in East Sussex.

Michelham was a daughter house of Hastings Priory. All Gilbert’s lands and honours were forfeited in 1235 as punishment for his going to Normandy without licence from King Henry III.

Accessibility

– The gardens, ground floor of the house, cafe, barn and courtyard area are all accessible.
– Sensory tours available by prior arrangement.
– Assistance dogs are welcome across the whole property.
– Access aids include loan wheelchairs, a dedicated disabled toilet and ramps where necessary.

Dogs
We welcome dogs at Michelham Priory House & Gardens. Due to the historic nature of the site and the wildlife that calls these places home, we ask that you keep dogs on short leads at all times, there will also be some Dog Free Zones.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

A visit from the King

In 1278 and again in 1287, the prior was fined for exercising illegal privileges. On 26 June 1283, John de Kyrkeby renounced his election as Bishop of Rochester at Michelham Priory before John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury.

King Edward I stayed overnight at the priory on 14 September 1302. In 1353, the prior was fined 40d because a bridge at Rickney was broken and blocking the river. By 1398, the priory was reported to be in a ruinous condition. Robert Reade, bishop of Chichester, granted the advowsons of Alfriston and Fletching to Michelham Priory in that year.

Civil War and Michelham Priory

The Priory was seized in 1537 under Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the monasteries. The priory, and its possessions, was then granted to Thomas Cromwell. Following Cromwell’s execution in 1540, it was granted to Anne of Cleves. Part of it was leased to Thomas Culpeper, with the greater part of the site passing to William, Earl of Arundel. In 1544, Henry, Earl of Arundel exchanged Michelham Priory with Queen Mary for other property. In 1556, the priory was sold to John Foote and John Roberts for £1,249 16s 10d.

Foote alienated the manor and hundred of Michelham Parkegate to Ambrose Smythe in 1574. In 1584, Smythe granted it to John Morely and Elizabeth, his wife. Morley granted the priory to Herbert Pelham in 1587.

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Michelham Priory in Upper Dicker
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Michelham Priory

Upper Dicker, East Sussex, BN27 3QS