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Historic England Research Records

Gisborough Priory

Hob Uid: 28304
Location :
Redcar and Cleveland
Guisborough
Grid Ref : NZ6169416059
Summary : The now ruined Gisborough Priory, an Augustinian monastery, was founded was founded in 1119 by Robert de Brus as part of the early 12th century religious revival in the north of England. The priory was richly endowed from the onset and continued to be supported by the benefactions not only of large landowners but also of relatively humble people. In 1289 a fire at the priory had a serious financial effect, as did the Scottish Wars of the 14th century when it became a refuge for canons driven from the monasteries at Brinkburn, Jedburgh and Hexham. In 1540 the priory was dissolved by Henry VIII and in 1550, the site and buildings were sold to Sir Thomas Chaloner. The site is still owned by the Chaloner family and is managed by English Heritage. Archaeological excavations have revealed that prior to the monastery's foundation, the site was the location of a late Saxon settlement and a Norman cemetery. The first priory church built on the site is assumed to have been constructed of wood and there have been three successive churches on the site since, forming the north range the cloister. The first was constructed prior to 1180 and demolished in the second half of the 12th century. It was rebuilt in the 13th century, however it was affected by the fire of 1289. Repairs and rebuilding of the church took place in the 14th century. South of the church lay the remaining three cloister ranges of which only the west range has been excavated. Its standing remains date to the later 13th century, with 15th century cross walls, and include a vaulted undercroft which would have been used for cellarage. The south range would have included the refectory and kitchens, while the east range would have included the dormitory and chapter house. A wide range of ancillary buildings stood outside the cloister and would have included an infirmary, a brewhouse and bakehouse, workshops and barns. Records indicate the existence of two gatehouses, one of which dates to the 12th century.
More information : (NZ 61691608) Remains of (NAT) Priory (NR) Augustinian founded 1129 (NAT) (NZ 61601609) Gatehouse (NR) (remains of) (1)

See DOE pamphlet. (2)

Surveyed at 1:2500. (3)

7/58 St. Mary's Priory ruins.
14.6.52
GV I
Remains of Augustinian Priory founded 1119 by Robert de Brus. Consists of : late C13 E. wall of church; foundations of W. end including bases of nave piers; late C13 - C14 cellarer's range, to S.W., at S. end of which is a service passage with 3 bays of quadripartite rib vaulting intact; and lower courses of the Curia and N. aisle wall, including fireplace and 2 doorways, surmounted by late C18 high dressed sandstone boundary wall: continued E. to adjoin the E. wall of Priory church. All of dressed sandstone. Scheduled Ancient Monument No. 19. ('V.C.H. Yorkshire, North Riding' Vol. II, 1923, pp 352-353; N. Pevsner ' ....Yorks North Riding', 1966, pp 177-178; B.J.D. Harrison & G. Dixon (Ed's), 'Guisborough Before 1900', 1981, pp 11-23; and R. Gilyard-Beer, 'Gisborough Priory', D.o.E., 1981.)

7/57 St. Mary's Priory Gatehouse (ruins).
14.6.52 (Formerly listed as Priory Gatehouse).

Remains of late C12 gatehouse to Gisborough Priory. Large moulded semi-circular arched opening to Church Street. The S. side is divided into a round-headed pedestrian archway and an elliptical arch for vehicles. The flanking wall to E. contains a fireplace, and a small cell with plain doorway and window openings. Scheduled Ancient Monument No. 19.
('Victorian County History, Yorkshire North Riding', Vol. II, 1923, pp 352/353; N. Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, Yorkshire North Riding', 1966, pp. 177-178; and R. Gilyard-Beer, 'Gisborough Priory', D.o.E., 1981, pp. 14/15.)

7/60 and 9/60 Boundary Wall, 100m. to W. of St. Mary's Priory ruins.

GV II

Boundary wall screening properties on Bow Street, Market Place and Church Street, from Priory Gardens and St. Mary's Priory Ruins. Late C17. Coursed sandstone rubble to N. side. C18 brick with flat stone coping to W. Included for group value with St. Mary's Priory ruins and Priory Dovecote, Church Street.

7/61 Boundary walls, adjoining and to N.E., E, and S.E., of St. Mary's Priory ruins.

GV II

Boundary/screening walls partially enclosing the ruins of St. Mary's Priory. Mid C18 to mid C19. Dressed sandstone, except for S.E. wall with alternate brick and stone bands to S. side. E.wall forms ha-ha; with single row of barbed iron spikes. Ball finials to angles and ends of walls. Included for group value with St. Mary's Priory ruins. (4)

Excavation in 1986-7 uncovered traces of Saxon activity beneath the priory. The various phases of development of the priory were exposed along with a group of inhumations interred with simple grave goods and a later group of clerical burials. (5)

Additional references. (6)(7)(8)

NZ 6167 1606. Gisborough Priory Augustinian monastery: late Saxon settlement, cemetery, monastic precinct and dovecote. Scheduled RSM No 23223.

The now ruined Gisborough Priory, an Augustinian monastery, was founded was founded in 1119 by Robert de Brus as part of the early 12th century religious revival in the north of England. During the 12th century it had a reputation for strict observance and was the final home of St Malachy. By the end of the 13th century, however, visitors noted a degree of laxity amongst the canons and poor accounting indicates that the bailiffs employed to manage the priory's outlying estates were, in fact, lining their own pockets. The priory was richly endowed from the onset and continued to be supported by the benefactions not only of large landowners but also of relatively humble people. In 1289 a fire at the priory had a serious financial effect, as did the Scottish Wars of the 14th century when it became a refuge for canons driven from the monasteries at Brinkburn, Jedburgh and Hexham. In 1540 the priory was dissolved by Henry VIII and in 1550, the site and buildings were sold to Sir Thomas Chaloner. The site is still owned by the Chaloner family.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that prior to the monastery's foundation, the site was the location of a late Saxon settlement and a Norman cemetery. The first priory church built on the site is assumed to have been constructed of wood and there have been three successive churches on the site since, forming the north range the cloister. The church was constructed prior to 1180 and demolished in the second half of the 12th century. It was rebuilt in the 13th century, however it was affected by the fire of 1289. Repairs and rebuilding of the church took place in the 14th century. South of the church lay the remaining three cloister ranges of which only the west range has been excavated. Its standing remains date to the later 13th century, with 15th century cross walls, and include a vaulted undercroft which would have been used for cellarage. The south range would have included the refectory and kitchens, while the east range would have included the dormitory and chapter house. A wide range of ancillary buildings stood outside the cloister and would have included an infirmary, a brewhouse and bakehouse, workshops and barns dating all to phases of the priory's use. Records indicate the existence of two gatehouses, one of which dates to the 12th century. Also in the outer court, in an area rich in buried foundations, is a dovecote. This building was constructed by the priory at the beginning of the 16th century. (9)

This is the website for the Gisborough Priory Project, a volunteer-run charity that work to restore historic gardens in Guisborough. The website is http://www.gisboroughprioryproject.co.uk/?s=home (10)

The English Heritage Handbook for 2009/2010 contains visitor information for Gisborough Priory. (11)

Please note that whilst the parish in which the site is located is spelled Guisborough, the priory is spelled both as "Guisborough" and "Gisborough" in various sources. (12)

The results of building recording work at the Dovecote were published in 2002. (13)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10 000 1973
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : DOE (IAM) Guide Guisborough Priory 1972
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : English Heritage Visitor Handbook 2009/10
Source details :
Page(s) : 256
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Compiler's comment, Robin Page, 24-SEP-2009.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : The Dovecote at Gisborough Priory: Survey Work Autumn 2002
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JHO 10-JUN-53
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Borough of Langbaurgh, 25-APR-1984
Page(s) : 24
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 318
Source Number : 5
Source : Council for British Archaeology Group 3: Newsbulletin
Source details : 1987, (D H Heslop)
Page(s) : 16
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 123
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30, 1986
Source Number : 7
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 119
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 31, 1987
Source Number : 8
Source : Cleveland history from the air
Source details : 1980
Page(s) : 28-29
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 03-May-94
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 10
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Gisborough Priory Project, [accessed 06-MAY-2009]
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Middle or late Saxon
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 649
Monument Type : Settlement
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built prior to 1180
Monument End Date : 1180
Monument Start Date : 1119
Monument Type : Church
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built prior to dissolution
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1119
Monument Type : Refectory, Kitchen, Dormitory, Chapter House, Infirmary, Brewhouse, Bakehouse, Workshop, Barn, Gatehouse, Dovecote
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence, Ruined Building, Documentary Evidence, Extant Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded 1119
Monument End Date : 1119
Monument Start Date : 1119
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Ruined Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Church demolished second half C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1150
Monument Type : Church
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built late C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1267
Monument Type : Cloister, Cellar, Undercroft
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt after fire of 1289
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1290
Monument Type : Church
Evidence : Ruined Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Cloister
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Dissolved 1540
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Ruined Building, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1007506
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CL 19
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23223
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 59926
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 131
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1329543
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 61 NW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 27694
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 28289
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1314510
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, GUISBOROUGH PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1950-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 61 NW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1953-06-10
End Date : 1953-06-10
Associated Activities : Primary, GUISBOROUGH PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1987-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GUISBOROUGH PRIORY (HA HA)
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GUISBOROUGH PRIORY: DOVECOTE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GUISBOROUGH PRIORY GARDENS
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT 12 CHURCH STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31