Annora of Iffley, anchoress, 13th century, 8th May

She lived the contemplative life in the English mediaeval tradition of an anchoress…

Born in 1179, she was an anchoress at St Mary’s Church, Iffley. The daughter of a powerful baron who fell out with King John, Annora was imprisoned in Bristol Castle; her mother and brother were put in Windsor Castle where they starved to death. After being widowed, Annora followed the example of her sister, Loretta, and became an anchoress. There are records indicating that King Henry III gave her an annual supply of firewood and other gifts. She lived the contemplative life in the English mediaeval tradition of an anchoress and today the church is witnessing a resurgence of those called to be solitaries. Annora is remembered over 900 years later. Ruth Nineham has written a short biography.