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Historic England Research Records

Thelsford Priory

Hob Uid: 333111
Location :
Warwickshire
Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon
Charlecote, Wasperton
Grid Ref : SP2708058240
Summary : Priory of the short-lived Augustinian order of the Holy Sepulchre, founded prior to 1200. After 1214, a hospital is recorded there for the relief of the poor and reception of pilgrims. It appears to have been granted to the Trinitarians in 1214, but did not come into their full possession until after 1224. It was dissolved in 1538. Excavations have located the church, which although robbed of walling, was shown to be of three periods. It was cruciform in plan, and the claustral complex extended South from the South-West angle of the transept. Trial trenching located other buildings to the West and North of the church, but these were either timber or timber on stone footings. Two fishponds are extant as earthworks connected by a stone sluice. There is evidence of a precinct wall to the South. A prehistoric ditch was also found during the excavations.
More information : (SP 27085824) Priory (NR) (site of) (NAT) (1)

Between the road junction of the Kineton-Warwick road and one coming up from Charlecote village, and the Thelsford brook, is the site of the priory of Thelsford; "of the buildings there are no remains above ground, but there is at Wasperton Manor House (SP 26365879) a stone coffin found on the adjacent Thelsford Farm". (SP 27485817). (2)

Thelsford - formerly a priory of Augustinian Canons of the Holy Sepulchre founded before AD 1200. "The transfer to the Trinitarians may have been about 1214. When the house was re-endowed it was desired that the house should not only be for the brethren, but also a hospital for the relief of the poor and for the reception of pilgrims; and the sisters recorded in 1411, probably looked after this hospital. The prior and 3 brothers surrendered in 1538". (3)

Excavation of the Trinitarian Priory at Thelsford took place in June/July 1966. The aim was to find the extent of the site, which was four acres bounded on the south and west sides by a large ditch or moat, on the east by the present road and to the north by the present Thelsford Brook. About half this area was covered by buildings which were either entirely of timber, or with stone footings to support a timber superstructure. The exception is the church, which appears to have been entirely of stone. The pottery found was consistent with a 13th century - 16th century dating. "The church was badly robbed, but the other conventual buildings had suffered no damage except from continuous ploughing." (4)

There is no surface indication of the Priory buildings at the published site. One fishpond is extant; published survey (25") revised. To the north west of the pond the site is cut by the new North Sea Gas pipeline, but no archaeological remains are evident in the trench. There are no fish stews extant north of the brook (authority 2) and the perimeter ditch (authority 4) cannot be traced. (5)

Excavations in 1972, prior to proposed realignment of the A429 road over the site of Thelsford Priory, revealed that a well-made stone drain crossed the site from the main building westward into a wet hollow. A stone-built sluice connected the two fish-ponds; beneath this was a 13th century wooden structure of similar function, with posts preserved in situ. Traces remained of a southern perimeter wall; outside this was a series of boundary ditches from the 13th to 16th centuries. (6)

Scheduled as 'Thelsford Priory'. (7)

Thelsford Priory may have been transferred to the Trinitarians in 1214 when it received an endowment of 13 acres of land from Sir William Lucy of Charlecote (8), possibly c. 1240 (9a), but as the Trinitarians were not in England until 1224 it is more likely that it passed to them after this date. The buildings were later extended and the church enlarged resulting in its re-consecration in 1258. (8-10)

Thelsford Priory. 1966 excavations. (Additional reference.) (11)

From the excavations of the Priory in April and May 1972 (see Authority 6) by the Avon-Severn Valleys Research Committee, a plan was drawn up. (See Illustration Card)
Of the five ditches at the south of the site, 455 is possibly prehistoric, but the others showed a chronology consistent with the life of the Priory. Three definite structures were encountered: 516, a small hut with a collapsed wall and post holes at three corners; 492, a sunken area lined with clay; and 414, a deep hollow containing ceramic roof tiles. A drain runs from here to fishponds. At the north of the site is a stone drain 401 water channelling to fishponds, and 409 a stone sluice connecting two fishponds. (12)

(SP 27075824) site of (NAT)
Priory (NR) (Trinitarian) (NAT) (13)

Full synthetic account of the 1966 and 1972 excavations. The priory church is located at SP27195929. (14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1906
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Warwick: volume five: Kington Hundred
Source details :
Page(s) : 34
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details : D Gillian Hurst
Page(s) : 280
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 11, 1967
Source Number : 12
Source : West Midlands archaeological news sheet
Source details : M Gray
Page(s) : 31
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15, 1952
Source Number : 13
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1975
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : The Trinitarian Order in England : excavations at Thelsford Priory
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 226
Source Number : 3
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 155,181
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : West Midlands archaeological news sheet
Source details : Margaret Gray
Page(s) : 3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 9, 1966
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 FDC 01-OCT-68
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arch Excav 1972 107 (M Grey)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE AMs in England 1973 216
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Warwick, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 106-7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 175,207
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : H F Chettle
Page(s) : 366
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51, 1945-7

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Prehistoric
Display Date : Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -500000
Monument Type : Ditch
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1538
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Fishpond, Sluice, Precinct Wall
Evidence : Earthwork, Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1214
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1538
Monument Start Date : 1224
Monument Type : Trinitarian Monastery, Priory, Hospital
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WA 134
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21587
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1116
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 25 NE 23
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, THELSFORD PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1966-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 25 NE 23
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-10-01
End Date : 1968-10-01
Associated Activities : Primary, THELSFORD PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THELSFORD PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THELSFORD PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31