From the Friends of Merton Priory

Nones at Merton Priory, 2nd May 2010

The Augustinian Priory of St Mary's Merton has been the venue for the Office of Nones annually since 1998. This year we are celebrating for the 13th time here at Merton. Nones will be said at 3pm on Sunday 2nd May. It is also to be said at Holyrood Abbey for the first time since the Dissolution. This is an historic occasion. Holyrood was built on the plan of Merton. A synopsis of the history is given below. Nicholas Breakspear would have known Alwin.

In 1114 Gilbert the Norman requested that the sub-prior of the Augustinian Priory of Huntingdon, with a few brethren, should help him to set up Merton Augustinian Priory in Surrey on the river Wandle. One of the Huntingdon brethren was Alwin (AElfrin) who, when a canon of Merton, became Earl (later King) David of Scotland's chaplain in 1120 and then later his confessor. David spent much of his early life at the English court of Henry I (Henry was David's brother-in-law). Gilbert the Norman was the godson of King Henry and his wife Matilda.

David wished to house the fragment of the Holy Cross his mother had brought from the Holy Land in a suitable place. In 1128 he invited Alwin with other Merton canons to set up a monastery* a mile from Edinburgh Castle. Alwin was the first abbot and began the Holyrood Chronicle. After 22 years at Holyrood Alwin returned to Merton.

* "Holyrood Chronicle" in Scotland Historical Society No 30 3rd series 1938, pp116,128. See also Historia Fundationis of Holyrood and Book of old Edinburgh Castle Club 111 (1916) p64.

There is a group of young men, representing the Baptist and the Free Church of Scotland, who are leading this group with Anglican and Lutherans taking part. The Chapter House is situated under Merantun Way, Colliers Wood.

Further information may be obtained by contacting or Merton Priory, 15 Rossiter Road, London SW12 9RY.

Further history available from announcement of Nones, 2008.


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