|The History of||
Hinchingbrooke: from Victoria County History
William the Lion, King of Scotland and Earl of Huntingdon, granted lands
for a priory of Benedictine nuns known as Hychelingbrok in the
13th century, until the 15th century as St. James-without-Huntingdon and
since as Hinchingbrook Priory. The patrons were great benefactors
to the nunnery in the 12th century.
In December 1535 Dr. Leigh visited the priory, where the last prioress lay dying. He commissioned the Prior of Huntingdon to take an inventory of the priory's goods and lock the coffers till its fate could be decided. The following year Hinchingbrooke suffered the fate of the smaller houses and was quietly closed down.
By coincidence the man who carried out the Dissolution of the Monasteries, closing them down to give Henry VIII more power and money, was Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex. He is relatedto the next owners of Hinchingbrooke
The wall running south-east from the gatehouse is composed of reused
material. In it is a doorway largely of 13th-century stones but having
three 12th- century capitals and over it is the 17th-century pediment
from the north gable of the long gallery.
Nearby was found a 13th-century effigy of a man in armour (now in the House foyer) and two stone coffins. more