Llanthony Secunda

Llanthony Secunda

Llanthony Secunda Priory is a restored former Augustinian priory in Hempsted, Gloucester, England. Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford, founded the priory for the monks of Llanthony Priory, Vale of Ewyas, in what is now Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1136.


In 1135, after persistent attacks from the local population, the monksof Llanthony Priory in the Black Mountains, Wales retreated to Gloucester where they founded a daughter cell, Llanthony Secunda.

In 1530 the prior of Llanthony at Gloucester sent “cheise carp and baked lampreys” to Henry VIII at Windsor. It was also customary at the commencement of the fishing season to send the sovereign the first lamprey caught in the river. The intermittent custom of the city of Gloucester to present the sovereign at Christmas with a lamprey pie with a raised crust may have originated in the time of Henry I of England, who was inordinately fond of lamprey and who frequently held his court at Gloucester during the Christmas season. Shortly afterwards the Dissolution of the Monasteries occurred, and the priory with its lands near Gloucester was granted by the Crown to Arthur Porter.

Humpty Dumpty

During the Siege of Gloucester a Royalist cannon, shipped in from Holland to Bristol and from there to Gloucester, was placed on the walls of Llanthony Secunda and directed at Gloucester’s City Wall. It was hoped by the besieging monarch, Charles I, that this cannon would break the siege and win him control of the city. The cannon misfired and exploded on the first shot. Some believe this to be the origin of the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme; but this is disputed. The true origins of Humpty Dumpty are unknown but the idea that it refers to the Royalist cannon during the Siege of Gloucester is often cited as fact.


The remains of the priory were designated as Grade I listed in 1952 and the wider site is a scheduled ancient monument. In 2013 the Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust received funds for restoration work. The work was completed, and the priory re-opened to the public, in August 2018.

Llanthony Weir and Lock

Llanthony has given its name to a weir on the River Severn, which is the normal tidal limit on the East Channel of the river, and the disused Llanthony Lock, both built about 1870. Llanthony Lock was purchased by the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust in 2008 to restore the link between that canal and Gloucester Docks


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