Aug 31 • 29M

What really happened when a Monastery closed?

The Dissolution of the Monasteries Series. Episode 4 of 5

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Philippa Brewell
Join your host, Philippa Lacey Brewell, for historian interviews and live chats.
Episode details

Over 5 episodes, "The Truth About the Dissolution of the Monasteries," series with Professor James Clark, hosted by Philippa of the British History Channel, discusses in fascinating detail, how the dissolution unfolded.

Episode 4 - What really happened when a Monastery closed?

In this episode we explore what really happened when Henry VIII's commissioners came knocking!

For decades we have understood the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which took place in the late 1530's during the reign of Henry VIII, in a short hand, summarised and sanitised version of events. Professor James Clark, in his book 'The Dissolution of the Monasteries. A New History' published by Yale University Press in 2021, looks at how the dissolution unfolded for the ordinary people and exposes the received history and its short hand explanations of the process as way too simple and, in many ways, inaccurate.

Episodes in this series

  • Episode 1 - Henry VIII's real intention for the Monasteries of England and Wales

  • Episode 2 - How the Pilgrimage of Grace may have led to the more monasteries being closed

  • Episode 3 - What was the Valor Ecclesiasticus?

  • Episode 4 - What really happened when a monastery was closed

  • Episode 5 - "Even in 1539, they still don’t believe the end is coming"

There is a bonus hour with James in which he discusses what Anne Boleyn thought about the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the fundamental lack of consistency in Henry's ideas on religion, and what happened to the women ejected at the closure of the religious institutions, among many other fascinating topics. Join to access it.

Join the British History Club at to enjoy early access to content, exclusive blogs, discounts on British History Events and take part in Book Club!

All for £5/month. You can also give me one off support by donating at You can also support me for free by subscribing, liking, commenting and sharing this video.

Receive weekly history news from me by subscribing to my Substack at

Visit for full details of history tours and events.

⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️ About Philippa

Philippa is a Historian and History Event Organiser Philippa Lacey Brewell lives in Central England and is well respected in her field as a historian and tour guide. She is the owner and founder of British History Tours, a tour company for those who love British History. Philippa entertains thousands each week with her videos and stories from across the UK and British History. This ability to engage an audience, as well as being an expert in traveling the historical sites of the UK, makes her your perfect guide.