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Historic England Research Records

Eye Priory

Hob Uid: 389045
Location :
Suffolk
Mid Suffolk
Eye
Grid Ref : TM1524074060
Summary : Benedictine Priory dedicated to St Peter, was founded by Robert Malet circa 1080. Originally an Alien Priory dependent on Bernay, it became independent in 1385 when it could support only 3 -4 monks. It was finally dissolved in 1537. Only the 15th/16th century `gatehouse' now survives, in use as a barn. During excavations, a 9th century seal-die of Bishop Aethelwold (845-70) was found. Excavations demonstrated that the church and claustral buildings were a replica of the mother-house. The church had an aisled nave with apsidal chancel and apsidal side chapels adjoining. The transepts also had apsidal chapels. The claustral buildings were arranged to the north, the cloister being 90 feet square.
More information : (TM 15317397) Remains of Priory (NR) Benedictine Founded
AD 1385 (NAT)
(TM 15247406) Chapel (NR) (Remains of)
(Centred TM 15387411) Fish Ponds (NR). (1)

Benedictine Priory dedicated to St Peter, was founded by Robert Malet c 1080 originally an Alien Priory dependent on Bernay, it became Independent in 1385 when it could support only 3 -4 monks. It was finally dissolved in 1537. (2)

In 1926 excavations were carried out by Fairweather (see attached plan) who suggests that the building to the NW was a guest-house which included a chapel in its SE corner. (3)

"NE of Eye Castle and west of the River Dove is a series of fish-ponds of the Benedictine priory". (4)

A bronze seal-die dug up in a garden about 200yds from the monastery site probably belonged to AEthelwald bishop of Dunwich (845-870). Reg No 22.12-14, 1 (Seal Cat No 1). (5)

The only building of the Priory which survives is the 15th/16th brick built 'Guesthouse' (TM 15247406) now used as a barn. There are no indications of Chapel use. See ground photograph. There are flint and mortar standing wall sections in the garden area of Abbey Farm house (TM 15287397). It is evident from their ground position
and the Fairweather excavation report that some are not 'in situ'.

Abbey Farmhouse if of uncertain age, but is externally modernised and not outstanding. Worked stone is incorporated in the walls. See ground photograph. To the N of the house within a 1 1/2 hectare area of overgrown woodland is a fishpond complex (TM 153741). Mostly waterfilled but silting. The ponds were fed from a channel on
the W side of the complex, which extends to the River Dove further to the W. Published survey (25") revised. (6)

TM 152740. Eye Priory Guesthouse - scheduled. (7)

The fishponds have been revised on MSD but the remainder of the complex remains generally as described and surveyed.

See ground photograph. (8)

TM15367402; TM 15257406. Remains of Eye Priory at Abbey Farm scheduled. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1958
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 54,65
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : FH Fairweather
Page(s) : 299-312
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7, 1927
Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Suffolk, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 623
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Catalogue of antiquities of the later Saxon period, volume 1. Anglo-Saxon ornamental metalwork 700-1100 in the British Museum
Source details : Anglo-Saxon Metalwork in the British Museum 1964 131-2
Page(s) : 131-132
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JRL 29-NOV-73
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
Source details :
Page(s) : 292
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 23, 1980
Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 RD 12-JUN-81
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 09-Mar-01
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 870
Monument Start Date : 845
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Between 1080 and 1537
Monument End Date : 1537
Monument Start Date : 1080
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Fishpond, Priory, Church, Cloister, Gatehouse
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Period : Early Medieval
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : DIE STAMP
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 30593
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Suffolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 9
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 468350
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 468351
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TM 17 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 920902
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, MONASTERY OF ST PETER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1926-01-01
End Date : 1926-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TM 17 SE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-11-29
End Date : 1973-11-29
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TM 17 SE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1981-06-12
End Date : 1981-06-12
Associated Activities : Primary, ABBEY FARM BARN
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31