Name: LONDON ST. MARY GRACES Location:
London County: Greater London Foundation: 1350 Mother house: Beaulieu Relocation: None Founder: King Edward III Dissolution: 1538/9 Prominent members: Access: No standing remains
St. Mary Graces was the last Cistercian foundation
in Britain and was the only house of the Order that was established
on an urban site. It was founded by King Edward III (1327-77) on
a plot of land just outside of the Tower of London. The foundation
one and intended to serve what was essentially a new royal free
chapel.(1) The community was originally small, with an abbot and
By the early sixteenth century the
monastery had become the third richest Cistercian Abbey in Britain.
assessment of 1535 the net annual income of the house was valued
at £547 and the abbey was suppressed with the larger monasteries
in 1538-9.(2) The church
was demolished five years later and the claustral
buildings were converted into a house.
Afterwards the property
was used successively as a royal naval supply base, as a storage
and then cleared to make way for the royal mint. Today the site
is situated between the Tower, Royal Mint Street, and East Smithfield,
and although the site has been excavated there are no prominent
A mosaic mural showing Edward III handing over the charter to
the abbey can be seen in English Martyrs Catholic Church, in
nearby Prescot Street.