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Historic England Research Records

Monk Bretton Priory

Hob Uid: 52396
Location :
Barnsley
Barnsley
Barnsley
Grid Ref : SE3734606528
Summary : The now ruined Monk Bretton Priory was founded circa 1154, it originally housed monks of the Cluniac order. After a number of disputes concerning the appointment of its priors, it severed its ties with its mother house, La Charite sur Loir, and St John's in Pontefract to become, in 1281, an independent Benedictine Priory. The priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538. The visible remains are of the church and domestic ranges around a central cloister occupying the south and west parts of the precinct. Northwards, these are divided from the main gatehouse and a separate administrative building by the outer court, while to the south, a second court served the prior's lodging and the guest house. The church, which formed the north cloister range, was built in the second half of the 12th century and was altered by the end of the 12th century and in the mid 14th century. Apart from the south transept, only the lower walls of the church remain standing. The administrative building, though altered in the 17th century, is of late 13th-early 14th century date, while the main gatehouse dates to the early 15th century. South of the church are the cloister ranges of the priory. The temporary buildings, erected after the priory's foundation, were replaced in stone throughout the 13th century and were altered at various times during the later Middle Ages. The east cloister range consisted of the chapter house, warming house and the monks' dormitory. East of this range are the remains of the infirmary. The south cloister range was occupied by a later warming house and the refectory, and on the north side was the lavatory. South of the refectory are the 13th century remains of the kitchen and a bakehouse. The west cloister range comprised an outer parlour and undercroft used for cellarage and storage. On the first floor were the prior's apartments which, after the Dissolution, were altered to form a dwelling house. The remains of two fishponds are also visible.
More information : [SE 37320651] Remains of Monk Bretton Priory [G.T.] (Benedictine Founded AD 1153). (1)

A Cluniac priory at Monk Bretton was founded 1153-5. It became Benedictine c.1279, and was surrendered in 1539. There are extensive remains dating from the 12th to 15th centuries. The west range, originally 14th cent, contains a late 16th century house built out of the prior's lodging. Scheduled. (2-4)

The remains of Monk Bretton Priory are in the care of the Ministry of Works. On the whole they are well preserved and in part restored.
See G.Ps AO/64/239/5 & 6.
A dry fishpond at SE 37410654 and the exhausted remains of a drain SE 37340646 have been surveyed at 1:1250. (5)

Monk Bretton Priory, a small Cluniac house, a recalcitrant daughter house of Pontefract (and thus a `grandaughter' of La Charitie), was founded c.1154 by Adam Fitz Swane. (6-7)

Note on excavation in the west range. (8)

Monk Bretton Priory remains 12th-late 15th centuries. Founded in 1154 by monks of the Cluniac Order, it became Benedictine in 1281. Most of the remains are only a few feet high, though the gatehouse and the administration building are still standing. Grade 1. (9)

The now ruined Monk Bretton Priory was founded circa 1154 and housed monks of the Cluniac order. After a number of disputes concerning the appointment of its priors, it severed its ties with its mother house, La Charite sur Loir, and St John's in Pontefract to become, in 1281, an independent Benedictine Priory. The priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538.

The visible remains are of the church and domestic ranges around a central cloister occupying the south and west parts of the precinct. Northwards, these are divided from the main gatehouse and a separate administrative building by the outer court, while to the south, a second court served the prior's lodging and the guest house. The church, which formed the north cloister range, was built in the second half of the 12th century and was altered by the end of the 12th century and in the mid 14th century. Apart from the south transept, only the lower walls of the church remain standing. The administrative building, though altered in the 17th century, is of late 13th-early 14th century date, while the main gatehouse dates to the early 15th century. South of the church are the cloister ranges of the priory. The temporary buildings, erected after the priory's foundation, were replaced in stone throughout the 13th century and were altered at various times during the later Middle Ages. The east cloister range consisted of the chapter house, warming house and the monks' dormitory. East of this range are the remains of the infirmary. The south cloister range was occupied by a later warming house and the refectory, and on the north side was the lavatory. South of the refectory are the 13th century remains of the kitchen and a bakehouse. The west cloister range comprised an outer parlour and undercroft used for cellarage and storage. On the first floor were the prior's apartments which, after the Dissolution, were altered to form a dwelling house. The remains of two fishponds are also visible. (10)


These are additional references. (11-12)

This source contains the priory's Conservation statement. (13)

This website for the priory has been created by the Friends of Monkton Priory. (14)

Brief accessible overview of the remains and their history, including a small phase plan of the remains. (15)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1955
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 71, 98
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Source Number : 11
Source : Monk Bretton Priory, Yorkshire
Source details :
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Source Number : 12
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 71,100
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Source Number : 13
Source : English Heritage Yorkshire Region Conservation Statements
Source details : Monk Bretton Priory, Oct-2002
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Source Number : 14
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Friends of Monk Bretton Priory. Monk Bretton Priory, [accessed 01-MAY-2009]
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Source Number : 15
Source : Heritage unlocked: Guide to free sites in Yorkshire and the north east
Source details :
Page(s) : 38-39
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Source Number : 3
Source : Yorkshire : the West Riding
Source details :
Page(s) : 370-1
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ancient monuments in England and Wales : list prepared by the Ministry of Works, corrected to 31st December 1960
Source details :
Page(s) : 112
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JRF 14-OCT-64
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Source Number : 6
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : SE Rigold
Page(s) : 322
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 125, 1968
Source Number : 7
Source : An Historical and Architectural Description of the Priory of St. Mary Magdalene of Monk Bretton in the West Riding of the County of Yorkshire
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Source Number : 8
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 210
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 27, 1983
Source Number : 9
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Barnsley, 13-JAN-1986
Page(s) : 01-Mar
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Vol(s) : 1014
Source Number : 10
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 10-Jun-92
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built second half C12
Monument End Date : 1200
Monument Start Date : 1151
Monument Type : Church
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded c1154
Monument End Date : 1154
Monument Start Date : 1154
Monument Type : Cluniac Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C13 to 1538
Monument End Date : 1538
Monument Start Date : 1201
Monument Type : Cloister, Chapter House, Warming House, Dormitory, Infirmary, Refectory, Privy House, Undercroft, Storehouse, Monastic Dwelling, Fishpond
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built Late C13-early C14
Monument End Date : 1332
Monument Start Date : 1267
Monument Type : Ecclesiastical Office
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Re-founded in 1281
Monument End Date : 1281
Monument Start Date : 1281
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered mid C14
Monument End Date : 1366
Monument Start Date : 1333
Monument Type : Church
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built early C15
Monument End Date : 1432
Monument Start Date : 1401
Monument Type : Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered 17th century
Monument End Date : 1600
Monument Start Date : 1501
Monument Type : Ecclesiastical Office
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Dissolved 1538
Monument End Date : 1538
Monument Start Date : 1538
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 333686
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1151178
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SY 124
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13255
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 333687
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 333688
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 376
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1151179
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1315023
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1010057
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 30 NE 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 54379
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : MONK BRETTON PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1926-01-01
End Date : 1926-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 30 NE 3
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-10-14
End Date : 1964-10-14
Associated Activities : MONK BRETTON PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : MONK BRETTON PRIORY
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : MONK BRETTON PRIORY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31