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BUCKLAND PRIORY

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Buckland or Minchin Buckland Priory. The house of St John the Baptist was first founded circa 1166 for Augustinian Canons who were dispersed before 1180 when possession was granted to the Knights Hospitallers for a preceptory and a house for the Sisters of St John of Jerusalem. The larger church of the sisters was dedicated to St Mary and St Nicholas; the smaller church of the knights to St John the Baptist. The community began with eight sisters, one each from Carbrooke (TF 90 SW 14), Clanfield (SP 20 SE 306), Gosford (SP 51 SW 42) and Hogshaw (SP 72 SW 1), and two each from Shingay (TL 34 NW 14) and Standon (TL 42 SW 4). Other sisters came from Hampton (TQ 16 NW ) and Swingfield (TR 24 SW 1), while new members joined the order. The buildings burned down in 1234. The preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers ceased to appoint preceptors after 1433. From 1500 five chaplains were maintained, the one serving the sisters being only in name a preceptor. The sisters disengaged themselves, and Buckland became a distinct priory or hospital of the Augustinian Canonesses. After surrender in 1539 the prioress and thirteen sisters were granted pensions. Architectural fragments and gravestones have been found in the vicinity of Buckland Farm, and there is a fishpond in which further fragments were also found. The foundations of a rectangular pre-19th century building were also discovered, but there was no clear dating evidence for it.

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