A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Caldey, Prinknash and Nashdom – A Shared Pictorial History

A selection of items from my Postcard and Photograph Collection:


CALDEY 1906-1928

I have tried to limit these to the Benedictine period as there are numerous cards dating from the Cistercian years which commence in January 1929.

Caldey 1

Published by the Church Association

Of the thirty three members of the Caldey Community in 1913 twenty six were eventually received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, twenty of them on 5th March. Five others – one a novice and two oblates – (including Denys Prideaux) remained Anglicans until they died. The religious affiliation of the other two is not known. Only eight of the original members persevered in this the Community of their profession for the rest of their lives. (Details from Dom Aelred Baker’s ‘Why did we do it?’ (2013)

Caldey 2

Postcard taken on the day after the conversion – 6th March 1913 – showing the monks in their pre-conversion habits. Centre leading from left. Abbot Butler (Downside), Abbot Carlyle (Caldey) Archbishop Mostyn, Abbot Marmion (Maredsous) Dom Bede Camm (Maredsous) centre in white – Dom Leo Packer (Chant Master)

Caldey 41

Postcard of Clifton Cathedral sent to Brother Laurence Gibling in January 1914


Caldey 40

Caldey 3Caldey 4Caldey 5Caldey 7

Caldey 11

Caldey 8

Dom Aelred Carlyle, Abbot of Painsthorpe (1902-1906) and Caldey (1906-1921)

Caldey 9

Abbot Aelred (Benjamin Fernley Carlyle) 1874-1955

Caldey 41

Caldey 40.jpg

Caldey 10.jpgCaldey 12Caldey 13Caldey 20Caldey 14Caldey 15Caldey 16Caldey 17Caldey 18Caldey 19Caldey 21Caldey 22Caldey 23Caldey 24Caldey 25Caldey 26Caldey 27Caldey 28Caldey 29Caldey 31Caldey 32Caldey 38

Caldey 33Caldey 34Caldey 35Caldey 39Caldey 36Caldey 37


PERSHORE 1914-1926

PershorePershore 2

Pershore 3.jpg

NASHDOM 1926-1987

Nashdom 2Nashdom 3Nashdom 3Nashdom 4Nashdom 5Nashdom 8Nashdom 9Nashdom 7



The Benedictines of Caldey arrived at Prinknash Park on 6th October 1928.


A Collection of annotated postcards sent to the Lady Abbess of Oulton, in Staffordshire, by Rev. Dom Lawrence O.S.B.

Prinknash 53

Prinknash 42

‘East front – entrance for seculars and to Priory and Church (on right)’

Prinknash 43.jpg

‘North West side – enclosure’

Prinknash 44

‘East front and entrance – bells (brought from Caldey) on right’

Prinknash 45

‘View from lower avenue – North side of Monastery and steps. The bay window of the choir’

Prinknash 46

‘South West – avenue to East entrance’

Prinknash 47

‘South side windows of lay-brothers’ Common Room and Dormitory. Refectory below road-level, on this side’

Prinknash 48

‘The Calvary in the Cemetery (recently put up) by the grave of Dom Gilbert Thomas – the first to die here in July last year’

Prinknash 49

‘South West’

Prinknash 50

‘Choir and High Altar – frontal of carved and gilded wood – usually covered with silk frontals of colour of the day. Plain stone underneath. Tabernacle veiled. Tomb of Mr. Dyer-Edwardes in Sacristy’

Prinknash 52

‘Sanctuary and Tomb of Mr. D. E. The wall and door at end have gone! The choir is now twice as big.’

Prinknash 51

‘The Choir – as it used to be! The door opened into a kind of “ante-choir” and the Sacristy’



A second set of annotated postcards:


Prin 2

‘West side – Enclosure (original entrance)’

Prin 1.jpg

‘North side – from terrace steps’

Prin 3.jpg

‘East side – General entrance (original back entrance)’

Prin 5

‘Tabernacle – Note its position  and covering’

Prin 4.jpg

Prin 6

‘Prior’s Stall (with canopy) on left – formerly Stall of “Father Ignatius” at Llanthony’

Prin 7.jpg

‘XV or XVI century oak statue given by Mrs. Sutcliffe (nee More-Waterton), a descendent of Sir Thomas More’

Prin 8

‘Sacristy and entrance hall – Note how spaciousness is given with the neat arrangement’



Prin 9

Prin 10

‘Formerly, a passage, laundry and coal-cellar!’

Prin 11

Prin 15Prin 16Prin 17Prin 14.jpgPrin 13.jpgPrin 12.jpg

Prin 18Prin 19Prin 21

Prin 20

Sent Sept 5th 1951

Prin 24.jpg

Prin 23

Prinknash 1


Prinknash 2


Prinknash 3


Prinknash 4

‘Tabernacle – note its covering. It may be said of the whole that there is scarcely a more beautiful altar existing in Europe today’

Prin 28Prin 25.jpgPrin 26Prin 27

Prin 29

Dom Benedict Steuart, Prior of Prinknash 1928-1937

Prin 30Prin 31Prin 32

Prin 33

Abbot Wilfrid Upson with Mother Agnes Finnegan O.S.B., Abbess of Kylemore Abbey, Ireland


Prin 34

‘The Abbot of Prinknash on the Solemnity of St, Joseph. Note the magnificent vestments and exquisite mitre’

Prin 35

31st January 1938, Fort Augustus Invernessshire, Postmark

Prin 36

Prinknash 35

Abbot Wilfrid Upson at Pluscarden in 1948


Farnborough became a daughter house of Prinknash

Prin 46


Prin 47

Prin 37

Dated 15th April 1944

Prin 38Prin 39Prin 40Prin 41Prin 42Prin 43


For more information:-

Fr. Aelred Baker, ‘Why did we do it? – The story of the Caldey Conversions in 1913’,Centenary Booklet 1913-2013

Fr. Aelred Baker, ‘The Floodgates of Memory – The Life of Abbot Aelred Carlyle and Community, 2009

Fr. Aelred Baker, ‘All those years in Exile – The Life of Abbot Aelred Carlyle and his Community (1914-1955), 2010

Pluscarden Abbey, ‘The Caldey Conversion – A Contemporary Chronicle, 2013

Aidan Harker, ‘Anglican Abbot: Dom Denys Prideaux, 2016, Anglo-Catholic History Society


For Comments and Further discussion:

‘Thanks to New Liturgical Movement’




See ‘St Bernard’s Monastery, Little Guiting’:


11 comments on “Caldey, Prinknash and Nashdom – A Shared Pictorial History

  1. Richard G. Roy
    October 8, 2017

    As Anglicans they were not “playing at” being monks. They followed the Rule of Saint Benedict and observed all the canonical hours and lived by the labor of their hands.

    • Richard Barton
      October 8, 2017

      Thank you Richard. Yes the postcard is a fascinating contemporary historical document and represents the views of the Church Association which was an Anglican organisation established in 1865 and was particularly active in opposing Anglo Catholicism, Ritualism and the Oxford Movement. We must also remember that the Anglican establishment was wary of Aelred Carlyle and his community in contrast to the respect with which many bishops held the Cowley Fathers or Mirfield Fathers. On Facebook people have seen this card as expressing a Roman Catholic view. This is, of course, unfair as the Catholic Church would have taken little interest in Painsthorpe or Caldey as it was busy trying the house its own communities who were finding a refuge in the UK from the restrictions imposed by the French Government at that time.

      Digging deeper, Father Aelred Baker OSB of Prinknash, the contemporary biographer of Aelred Carlyle, has just written an excellent review of Hugh Allen’s ‘New Llanthony Abbey – Father Ignatius’s Monastery at Capel-y-ffin’ in ‘Pax’ and he begins by saying the following, ‘Bishop Walter Fere used to say that a Religious Order needs two things to succeed – a founder and a consolidator. The Order at Llanthony is a prime example of one that certainly had a founder in Fr. Ignatius Lyne, but never found a consolidator, and therefore ended in failure. Our community had a founder, not nearly as eccentric as Ignatius, but equally untrained, impulsive, and sometimes wildly improvident. But we have to thank Leo Packer and Wilfrid Upson for putting down roots early on, and establishing an orderly and consistent form of life that could consolidate what Aelred had started’. If we look at The Anglican Benedictine ‘sons’ of Aelred Carlyle we would probably agree that, at Pershore, Denys Prideaux and later, at Nashdom, Martin Collett made similar contributions to Packer and Upson. Perhaps amongst all the earnestness of those who sought a serious religious life at Llanthony and then at Caldey there was a romantic playfulness and experimentation which resulted from the founders being inexperienced and having not been formed in a solid tradition.

  2. Paul Waddington
    October 13, 2017

    All very interesting. I note that you have not included the modern Prinknash Abbey. Probably a good decision.

    • Richard Barton
      October 14, 2017

      There is Broadbent’s drawing of the completed monastery but I was a bit concerned about copyright reproducing contemporary cards.

  3. Pingback: Thanks to ‘New Liturgical Movement’ | btsarnia

  4. Simon Biggs
    September 13, 2018

    Hi Richard.

    I also collect Caldey Postcards.

    Would it be possible to get in contact with me.
    Some of yours I have never seen before.
    I also have some other interesting items Caldey related.

    Many thanks.


  5. Pingback: Elsewhere: Benedictine Mementos from England | The Amish Catholic

    • Richard Barton
      October 23, 2018

      Thank you so much for your enthusiastic response which has brought a number of your followers to my blog site. Some of the other articles may be of interest to you especially ‘Pious Dreams’

  6. Finbar Boyle
    October 25, 2018

    Sadly the statue of O.L. of Prinknash was stolen some years ago from the Church in the new monastery. the Community are back in St. Peter’s Grange DG.

  7. fabfin
    October 25, 2018

    Sadly the statue of OL of Prinknash was stolen from the Church some years ago.The Community are now back in St. Peter’s Grange. Great postcards, many of which I haven’t seen- all the best from a monk of Caldey’s Grandaughter in Scotland!

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