Former Houses: Beeleigh

The Abbey of Beeleigh in Essex was founded from Newhouse by Robert de Parndon. This house was first located in Great Parndon before 1172 and in 1180 it was transferred by Robert Mantel to Beeleigh. In 1249 there was enshrined at its high altar the heart of St. Roger Niger of “Bileye,” who was most probably one of the earliest members of this community after it was settled in Beeleigh. He had become successively archdeacon of Colchester and Bishop of London. He was buried in London in St. Paul’s Cathedral except for his heart, which was encased in lead (this was a quite usual practice) and brought back to the place after which he had been named. Despite the public veneration paid to him, there seems to be no evidence for his actual canonisation. It was suppressed in 1536 and went into private ownership. Today it is a private home, though much of the original abbatial buildings remain, in particular the Chapter House. The Maldon Archaeological and Historical Group have recently published a book detailing their excavations at Beeleigh which is available here.

For more on former Premonstratensian houses in Great Britain please go here.

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