More on the history of Grisleigh End

More from the quest diary of St. John Ravensdale-smythe:

Grisleigh End

Grisleigh End

In 1414 Sir Denis died without issue and the Wrydding Tower returned to the Crown.  Henry V, having no other use for it, gifted the property to a mysterious band of Franciscan Monks, ordering a chantry to be built and seven rosaries to be said and seven masses to be sung every day for his father’s salvation.  It was (apparently – see below) incorporated as the Priory of St. Dismas, and served its community for only fifteen years.  If Owen Glendower was indeed posing as one of the fraternity, his brand of mysticism would certainly have fit right in, as this was by no means a traditional religious community.  It is, in fact, very likely that the brethren were not actually Franciscans, since no charter has ever been discovered among the papers of that order.  It does appear that several of the brothers were practicing a syncretic ritual  more closely aligned with the Templar tradition, which had been extinguished a hundred years previously.  An octagonal sanctuary had been built in the base of the tower, and there were stories of a “magical head” worshiped by the community.  In 1431 the priory was discovered to have been abandoned, the community of monks to have vanished into oblivion.  The grounds lay fallow and the monastery itself unoccupied for a further thirty years.  There was now said to be a curse attached to the area.

  In 1465,  the buildings and grounds were gifted by the crown to another knight, Sir Geoffrey Grisleigh, of Kinbrace.  He had helped Henry VI when the king was hiding in Scotland, and was granted the estates, henceforth known as ‘Grisleigh Wrydding’, and the title of 1st Baron Grisleigh. It was at this time that the first major renovations of the property took place, and it was christened ‘Grisleigh End’.  Sir Geoffrey and his heirs held and maintained the property for sixty years, until the line ended and the title went into abeyance.

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