Clare Priory is a religious house in England, established in 1248. It is situated on the banks of the River Stour, Suffolk, a short distance away from the medieval village of Clare. It was the first house of the Augustinian Friars in England. The house passed through many hands until it was again purchased by the Augustinian friars in 1953. Today the Priory offers modern retreat facilities for guests.
Clare Priory is a modern English house of the Augustinian order, established 1248 at the invitation of Richard de Clare. It was one of the first English monastic houses suppressed in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but the Irish Augustinian Friars purchased the house in 1953, with the help of the family who then owned it, and by doing this returned to their origins in England. It retains some original features, such as the Little Cloister with the Shrine, the vaulted porch, and stained glass. The Shrine contains a relief of the Mother of Good Counsel by the religious artist, Mother Concordia, and is based on the original fresco at Genazzano near Rome.
In England and Ireland of the 14th century the Augustinian order had had over 800 friars, but these priories had declined (for other reasons) to around 300 friars before the anti-clerical laws of the Reformation Parliament and the Act of Supremacy. The friars were dispersed from 1538 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the English Reformation. The martyr St John Stone was one of the few British Augustinians to publicly defy the will of Henry VIII in this matter. The partial list of monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII of England alone includes 18 Augustinian houses such as Bath Abbey, Bourne Abbey, Newstead Abbey and Waltham Abbey, the last one dissolved under him, but not the last to be destroyed.
In 1604 the priory was converted into a home for Sir Thomas Barnardiston, grandfather of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, 1st Baronet. In the 17th and 18th centuries it belonged to the Baker family. Clare Priory is a Grade I listed building, first listed in 1961.
- Joan of Acre (d. 1307), daughter of Edward I, Countess of Hertford and Countess of Gloucester
- Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster (d. 1363)
- Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence (d. 1368)
- Thomas Edwardston (d. 1396), prior of Clare Priory
- Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March (d. 1425)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clare Priory.|
- Order of St Augustine, International Homepage
- Augustinian friars in Britain
- Text of the Rule of St. Augustine
- Catholic Encyclopaedia - Hermits of St. Augustine
- Clare Priory