From Manx Soc vol IV,VII & IX

Priory of St. Bee's.

The Priory of St. Bee’s, or Bega, is said to have been founded as early as the year 650. It was situated in Copeland, in the Ward of Allerdale, and the original foundation was an independent monastery. During the ravages of the Danes it was destroyed, but re-built by William, son of Ranulph de Meschines, earl of Cumberland, in the reign of Henry I. He made it a cell and priory of the Benedictine order, and annexed it to the abbey of St. Mary’s at York. At one period it must have been a house of considerable importance, as is shown by the following grants —William the Conqueror gave it Stainburne, an oratory in the parish of Workington ; Cecily, countess of Alberniarle, four carucates of land betweenthe Esk and the Ducidon, two bovates at Lodeawater (Ullewater,) and a chapelry; David I. of Scotland, Everset (Etterby) ; Guthred, king of the Isles, Eschedala ;* and king Reginald, some lands in Ormeshan (Onchan.)+ The monks likewise possessed the church of Hafryngton, the lands of Kyrkley-le-Kogh, and lands++ in the Isle of Man. By virtue of this latter grant, the prior was a baron of Man, and as such obliged to attend upon the king, and the lords of the Isle, whenever called upon to do so. At the dissolution, the inmates were endowed with a pension of £149 19s. 6d. Edward VI. gave the priory to Sir Thomas Challoner, and in the reign of William and Mary it was bestowed upon the bishopric of Chester. It is now a clerical institution for the education of young men preparing for the church.

* Groudale haven, and the land surrounding it.

+ St. Catherine’s garden, and the ground on which the parish church is built.

++: The land from the Dhoon to Corna.  


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