The present Abbey of Prinknash, England, finds its origin in a foundation in 1896 in the Anglican Church. The Founder, Fr Abbot Aelred Carlyle (1874-1955) and the greater part of his disciples became Catholics in March 1913, under the guidance of (among others) Blessed Columba Marmion, then Abbot of Maredsous, Belgium, to whom the community was assigned by the Holy See. Received into the Subiaco Congregation in 1928 and placed under the guidance of the Fr Abbot of Ramsgate (now Chilworth), our community was aggregated definitively in 1933, and was raised to Abbatial status by the General Chapter of 1937. There followed a period of great expansion, in which the community came to number as many as 80 monks. The Abbey of St Michael’s, Farnborough (originally belonging to the Solesmes Congregation) was adopted as a foundation in 1947; in the following year, the ancient Priory of Pluscarden was refounded; later, in the 1980’s, the three abbeys of Ramsgate, Prinknash and Pluscarden founded together the monastery of Kristo Buase, Techiman, Ghana, West Africa (which received its independence in 2016).
We arrived at Prinknash Park in 1928, but the house was too small for the sizeable number of monks, and a larger abbey was constructed in 1972. Unfortunately, with the advancing age of the monks and the small number of recruits, it was necessary to abandon this abbey in 2008 and to return to the small medieval house where we were originally living.