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A brief history of the Forbury building

The Forbury is a 12th century building, originally part of the Benedictine Monastery of Leominster, and built with funds gifted to the town by the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Peckham.  The Monastery was established by Earl Leofric, husband of Lady Godiva. 

The Forbury is one of three surviving monastic buildings; the Priory Church and the Old Priory being the other two.  The Chapel, originally dedicated to Thomas a’ Becket, stood at the entrance to the Monastery and was built with the intention that local people would have access to the building for worship. 

Over the years, it has been used for a variety of purposes, including parish church, the town gaol, civic hall, local school and as a solicitor’s office.

 A few years prior to 2003 it was re-purchased by the Forbury Trustees and used as a meeting hall for the Church and local people.  This came about at a time when there was much environmental and conservation work within the Monastery area which in turn generated interest and a desire to know more about the history of the Priory and the origins of the town. 

The Forbury refurbishment project has complimented the other conservation work and preserved this old and beautiful building for future generations.

All the buildings mentioned are of interest to tourists and form part of a heritage trail through the county.  Nationally the building has importance due to an unusual, and possibly unique, scissor and hammer beam roof.