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Avenue leading to site of Preceptory at Shingay

Preceptory, Shingay

History of the Preceptory, Shingay

Shingay Preceptory was a Knights Hospitaller priory at Shingay in Cambridgeshire, England. It was established in 1144. The moated site is a scheduled ancient monument.

A community of Knights Hospitallers lived here for over 400 years. The refectory survived until the 18th century. The course of the river was diverted to turn their mill.

A general meeting of the order was held here October 28th 1371 when members of the order arrived from all over England.

The property of the Hospitallers was not subject to normal ecclesiastical law. As a result the bodies of criminals and suicides could be buried on their ground. Even after the suppression of the Order in 1536, traditions lingered and in 1640 John Layer of Shepreth says that a fairy cart or bier used to be kept here to fetch the corpses of condemned criminals for burial.


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