Ware Priory – Timeline of key events


1338 - Ware Greyfriars granted land to build an oratory (a place of prayer).


1536 - Act of Parliament passed to "dissolve" the monasteries and other religious houses (Priories & Friaries)


1544 - Henry VIII gave the property to Thomas Byrche as a private house which it remained until 1912


1913 - Ware Priory purchased by Mrs Elizabeth Croft, a member of one of the major malting families of Ware.  

           During the Great War, Elizabeth Croft loaned The Priory to the Red Cross as a hospital for wounded  soldiers.


1920 - Ware Priory is leased to the people of Ware for 999 years at a rent of three shillings (15p) per year, and is used as                    base for Ware Urban District Council (WUDC).

1974 - Local Government review, WUDC dissolved and East Herts District Council (EHDC) is formed


1974 - 1980 -

           Charities Commission decide the 1920 lease was "charitable" and should be registered as a charity.              

1980 - 1993  - 

            Control of the Priory passed to Ware Town Council as Charitable Trustee


            The Priory and some grounds listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage


            A scheme for restoration and refurbishment was finally agreed.


1993 - Work starts in October;

           Many interesting finds were uncovered;


           More than expected of the original 14th and 15th century structures found to remain.


1994 - In November the building officially re-opened by HRH Duke of Gloucester.

2001 - Old Stable Block roof collapses, as a result the block had to be demolished on safety grounds and,  


            The Trustees agree to improve that part of the Priory park/estate by erecting a new community building. 

2006 -  Fletcher’s Lea is officially opened in March by HRH Duke of Gloucester 

The story is not yet over.  The Priory park/estate continues to evolve and the next chapter awaits.