The Priory Crypt
|Year consecrated||c. 670AD|
"Stone in the middle ages possessed an Augustinian priory. It was founded c.1135. Some walling remains in Abbey Street, and in the house called The Priory in Lichfield Street a rib-vaulted undercroft of four or more bays, although in the eighteenth century a wall was built which now blocks off a section of the crypt. Also architectural fragments in the garden, including part of a large pier of quatrefoil section with hollows between the foils - probably early 14th century."
"Little remains of the priory buildings. Part of a sub-vault of the western range is incorporated in the cellars of the house called The Priory. To the east of it are some slight remains, possibly of the chapter-house."
The site of the priory, on Lichfield Street, now houses St Michael and St Wulfad's Church, built in the 1750s using stone from the priory after its collapse. The church's rectory was built over the priory's vaulted crypt.
Legend has it that Wulfad and his brother Rufin were killed by their father King Wulfhere of Mercia after converting to Christianity against his wishes. filled with remorse he allowed their mother Queen Ermenilda to build the priory on the site of their sons' grave. However, this legend is unlikely to be true. Wulfhere was already a Christian when he became king, and the story on which it is probably based is set by Bede in another part of the country over ten years after Wulfhere's death.
In August 2011 a 13th-century bronze seal from the priory, was found in a field in Cobham, Surrey. Its inscription reads "S’ecc Sce Marie et Sci W(v)lfadi Martiris de Stanis" ("the seal of the church of Saint Mary and Saint Wulfad, Martyr of Stone").
The seal will stay in Stone when campaigners hit the £8,000 target they need to secure its future in Stone.The 12th century seal that was discovered by a metal detectorist in Cobham was named the 17th best historical find in the UK on Britain’s Secret Treasures, a collaboration between ITV and the British Museum earlier this year. The Stone Historical Society and churches from across the town have now raised the money needed to keep the remarkable object in Stone after a whirlwind of fundraising events over several months, including selling wax imprints of the Seal. Stone Town Council also gave £1,000 to the fund. Philip Leason, chairman of Stone Historical Society, is thrilled with the fundraising efforts but says a little bit more money is still needed. Philip said: “I am absolutely delighted that we are able to keep this important part of the heritage of Stone in the town. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the fund. We have now started on the second phase of fundraising to buy a case in which to display it (the one it is in at the moment is borrowed) and to have a some conservation work done on the seal.”
- "Bit of Medieval Stone found in Surrey field". A Little Bit of Stone. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire, Penguin Books, 1974, p.267
- see W. H. Bowers and J. W. Clough, Researches into the History of Stone, Birmingham, 1929, p.292.
- Houses of Augustinian Canons - The Priory of Stone, in M W Greenslade & R B Pugh (eds), A History of the County of Stafford, Volume 3
- "History of Stone". Into Stone. Retrieved 22 September 2011.