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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 1 month ago


Contributed by Richard Johnston


The myth: Yateley Hall was a medieval nunnery


Source for the myth

Townroe, Village of 13 Names (ca 1957), quoting Theresa Bourne-Vanneck, a nun at Yateley Hall Convent school:

There is a strong tradition in the village that Calcotts was originally a Convent. The sunken cellar is reputed to have been once the Oratory and may have been built on the site.

Calcotts was the former name of Yateley Hall until the 18th century.


Why the myth is wrong


1. This tradition is not mentioned by earlier Yateley historians.


2. There is no other evidence for a nunnery at Yateley, yet:

  • Records about medieval religious houses are generally very good.
  • Monastic uses result in local names that reveal such a past.
  • Yateley was owned by the monks of the Old Monastery at Winchester .
  • Yateley Hall was in secular use in 1567; the description then does not mention an earlier church use, nor do earlier rental rolls mention nuns.
  • There is no land to provide the nuns with an income.


How did the myth arise?

  • Yateley Hall has a genuine medieval history.
  • A brick building with medieval-looking blind lancet windows looks like a chapel and crypt. Such picturesque buildings were popular in the 18th century.
  • The myth post-dates Yateley Hall's conversion from a private residence to a convent school: the nuns would like to think they had resumed an earlier Conventual use.


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