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Historic England Research Records

Kirby Bellars Priory

Hob Uid: 321333
Location :
Leicestershire
Melton
Kirby Bellars
Grid Ref : SK7176018380
Summary : Secular college founded as a chantry in 1316 transformed into Augustinian Priory in 1359, dissolved 1534 or 1536. At the Dissolution, the monastery had been destroyed by fire and was derelict. Associated moat, water channels and enclosures with probable later ridge and furrow surviving as earthworks.
More information : [SK 717184] Site of Priory [GT] (Augustinian founded AD 1359] (1)

Secular college at Kirby Bellars founded as a chantry in 1316 but soon increased into a college for a warden and 12 priests and becoming an Augustinian Priory in 1359. (2)

The small conventual buildings probably inherited from the college lay somewhere between the parish church of St.Peter and the large 3-armed depression which may have been fishponds. (3)

Around the church, the greater part being on the north side, the site of an Augustinian Priory is divided into quadrangular banks varying from 1ft to 5ft in height.
South of the church is another square site around which are a bank and a scarp of 25ft descended to the River Wreak. [This latter feature is shown at SK 7180 1819]. (4)

Scheduled. (5)

The earthworks of the above site consist of a series of rig and furrow fields which cut into the middle and apparently post date a moat-like feature at SK 71731842. The east and west arms are deeply cut, the latter being wet, whilst the north and south are comparatively shallow and may be unfinished. 1/2500 survey revised. (6)

The earthworks remain unchanged. Authy. 4 refers to further works south of the church. The disturbance in this pasture field has no coherent shape. (7)

SK 7176 1838. Kirby Bellars Priory. The earthworks cover an area of amost 200m square with a central square moat approximately 100 x 100m overall; the east and west arms measuring between 16-18m wide and up to 3m deep. The southern arm has been infilled and the northern arm partly infilled. Connecting channels indicating the water management system run from the north-east and south-east corners of the moat. The surface of the moat island has an uneven apperance and two small mounds less than 0.5m high connected by a low bank are situated on the eastern side of the island. Surrounding the moat is a ditch about 3m wide, an inner bank up to 1m high, an outer bank less than 0.5m high on three sides and a low bank on the western side. This is extended northwards from the north-east corner, surviving for 25m as a bank 6m wide and 0.5m tall. To the south of this enclosure are two banks flanking two ditches of similar dimensions which extend around the churchyard to the west. A further enclosure is created on the south-eastern side of the site by a ditch with outer bank measuring 0.5m and an inner bank up to 0.5m.
The priory was founded as a chantry in 1316, becoming an Augustinian priory in 1359. The priory church was a separate chapel having the same dedication as the church to the south. By 1440 the priory possessed a chapter house and was dissolved in 1534. Scheduled (RSM) No 17094. (8)

St Peter's Church was endowed by Sir Roger Beler to provide for two secular chaplains in 1316, increased to a warden and twelve chaplains in 1319; these were transformed into a priory and twelve regular canons in 1359. In 1511 the buildings had been destroyed by fire and were still in disrepair in 1518 . Dissolved in 1536. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1959
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 332
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Monastic Sites from the Air 218 (air photo at 219) 1952, (Knowles & Hadcock)
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Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Leicester, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 267
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : AMs List England and Wales 1961, p 62
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : B H Seaman/09-JUL-1962/Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : B H Seaman/28-APR-1972/Ordnance Survey Archeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage SAM Amendment Leicestershire 03-FEB-1993
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Source Number : 9
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 162,428
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1359
Monument Start Date : 1316
Monument Type : College Of Secular Priests, Chantry Chapel
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1536
Monument Start Date : 1359
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory, Moat, Enclosure
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Ridge And Furrow
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 17094
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LE 72
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 71 NW 7
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 71 NW 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-07-09
End Date : 1962-07-09
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 71 NW 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-04-28
End Date : 1972-04-28