There were several religious foundations: Thingore (founded 1133), Thwera (1155), Hitardale (c. 1166), Kirkby Nunnery (1184), Stad Nunnery (1296) and Saurby (c. 1200) were Benedictine, while Ver (1168), Flatey after Holyfell (1172), Videy (1226), Madderfield Priory (1296) and Skrid Priory (14th century) were Augustinian.
A Cluniac priory founded here shortly after the Conquest has left no remains.
The priory of St Denys, an Augustinian foundation of 1124, gives name to a suburb by the Itchen, and has left only fragmentary ruins.
There are several houses of interest, notably the Priory and Dr Awbrey's residence (now called Buckingham House), both built about the middle of the 16th century, but the finest specimen is Newton (about a mile out, near Llanfaes) built in 1582 by Sir John Games (a descendant of Sir David Gam), but now a farmhouse.
There are beautiful remains of the priory church, chiefly Early English; but there is a chapter-house of ornate Norman work.
Other houses of which there are slight remains are Lesnes abbey, near Erith, and Bilsington priory near Ashford, established in 1178 and 1253 respectively, and both belonging to the Augustinian canons; and the house of Franciscans at Canterbury (1225).
At Davington, close to Faversham, there are remains, incorporated in a residence, of the cloisters and other parts of a Benedictine priory founded in 1153.
In exempt convents the head of the monastery or priory exercised jurisdiction subject to an appeal to the pope.
William de Meschines and Cicely de Romili, his wife, heiress of Robert, founded and endowed a priory at Embsay or Emmesay, near Skipton, in 1120, but it was moved here in 1151 by their daughter, Alice de Romili, wife of William FitzDuncan, who gave the manor to the monks in exchange for other lands.
On the death of Robert de Hwlfordd, the benefactor and perhaps founder of the priory of St Mary and St Thomas, in 1213, the lordship of the castle reverted to the Crown, and was purchased for 1000 marks from King John by William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, who gave various privileges to the town.