Brooke priory, an Augustinian foundation from before 1153, was the only monastic house in Rutland. The mansion today called Brooke Priory is commonly believed to have been built over the earlier building, of which the original cellar is still in existence, the rest having been destroyed by Oliver Cromwell.
According to The Villages of Rutland (1979), tradition has it that a ring fixed to a heavy studded door in the courtyard is where Cromwell tied his horse when he visited the house. When the old building was being knocked down by Cromwell’s men, it is said that a man ran in his shirt from the priory through the park, climbing into an oak tree there. When the way was clear he ran to warn the people of Martinsthorpe, but collapsed and died of exposure after arrival; his ghost is said to haunt the area.