Sempringham Lincolnshire

St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.

Sempringham St Andrews Parish Church and Sempringham Abbey Church

St Andrews Parish Church and Sempringham Abbey Church

The current church of St Andrews sits to the north of the site where St Mary’s Priory once stood and where Gwenllian of Wales was held captive after being abducted by King Edward I in 1283 until her death .

The priory of St Mary’s was founded by St Gilbert around 1139 and was an order of both Gilbertian monks and nuns, it was destroyed in 1158. The present church once was larger than it is today due to the fact that in 1788 the Norman chancel and transept were taken down because it had become dilapidated.St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.

The monument you pass on the way to the church commemorates Gwenllian of Wales, daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last true Prince of Wales.

Gwenllian of Wales

Monument Commemorates Gwenllian of Wales

Gwenllian was abducted by King Edward I in 1283 after the defeat of her father, because she was a threat to King Edward’s hold on power in Wales, rather than kill the infant Gwenllian was taken to Sempringham Priory and kept a captive in order that she remained childless. She spent the rest of her life at St Mary’s Priory Sempringham in Lincolnshire as a nun of The Gilbertian order where she died at 54 in 1337.


 

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