Adam Fitz Swain's 12th-century priory of St. Mary Magdalene at Lundwood, Barnsley is also known as Monk Bretton Priory. It was a daughter house of St Johns Priory for Cluniac monks, founded by Robert de Laci (de Lacy) near to his base at Pontefract Castle. Cluniacs at Monk Bretton controlled agriculture and natural resources on many sites between Wakefield and Rotherham.
Their market charter was the cause of Barnsley's growth into a West Riding market town. King Edward I was troubled when monks came from La Charité-sur-Loire in France to fight for control of this wealth.
Here lived "the black monks of St Mary's priory" in The Lytill Geste of Robin Hood. They are commemorated in the nearby Mill of the Black Monks restaurant.
After dissolution under Henry VIII, it was home to the Armyne and Talbot families, descendents of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Monk Bretton Priory is now owned by Barnsley MBC under English Heritage custody and promoted by the Diocese of Wakefield.
This historic site is being developed for its educational value and is to become a feature of the Trans Pennine Trail and Yorkshire tourism.
Approx 3 miles north-east of Barnsley Town Centre, Off Pontefract Road (A628)
Open 7 days a week, 10.00 am - 6.00 pm April to September
10.00 am - 5.00 pm throughout October
10.00 am - 4.00 pm November - March and closed over Christmas and New Years Day.