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Historic England Research Records

Mount Grace Priory

Hob Uid: 55685
Location :
North Yorkshire
Hambleton
East Harlsey
Grid Ref : SE4481598536
Summary : A Carthusian monastery, which was founded in 1398 by Thomas de Holland, Earl of Kent and Duke of Surrey, nephew of Richard II. It was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St Nicholas. Much of the building is 15th century, with three distinct sub-phases of 15th century building work from about 1400 to 1410; about 1420-1430 and about 1470-1480. The last major building work carried out before the dissolution dates to1520. because of the Reformation, the priory was dissolved in 1539. Excavations over the last century coupled with the surviving buildings have produced the most complete plan of a Carthusian house known in England. To the west of the standing buildings are a group of multiphase earthworks. They variously represent ponds and water channels probably of monastic origin and the remains of gardens associated with later houses. Part of the priory survives as a ruin up to 2 storeys high. The ruined church stands at the centre of the complex, which comprises an outer court to the south west of the church, and the Great Cloister with its range of monks cells and their gardens in a quadrilateral enclosure to the north. Immediatley to the east and south of the church is the lesser court where lay brothers and servants were quartered. The outer court, accessed by a gatehouse from the inner court, contains the foundations of the stables, granary and frater, and the extant guest house which was modified as a private residence after the Dissolution (please see record 55685). The site is in the care of English Heritage. The monastery and associated fishponds are visible as earthworks and structures on air photographs, and have been mapped as part of the North York Moors National Mapping Programme Project.
More information : (SE 44869848) Mount Grace (GT) (Remains of Carthusian
Priory) AD 1396 (NAT) Mount Grace Priory (GT) Fish Ponds (GT) (1)

A priory founded 1398, dissolved 1539. (2)

Bordelby DMV - Mount Grace Priory was founded here. With East Harlsey in 1301. (3)

See MOW Leaflet. (4)

DOE excavations are currently in progress outside the NW wall of the cloister-garth to recover the complete lay-out of the cell pattern and all newly discovered foundations will be consolidated and retained for public viewing. The ruins as a whole are very extensive and well-preserved, and each of the two spring-houses (see photographs) is complete.

Published survey (25") of the Priory remains to be amended by Field Surveyor.

The fish-ponds are situated in pasture fields to the NW of the Priory. The largest is marsh-filled, but the linear pond (abutting the foot of steep slopes) is now dry. A third pond consists of a water-filled ditched enclosure (eroded by a stream at its SW angle but otherwise well-preserved) and has the appearance of a moat. Published survey (25") of earthworks revised. (5)

Ruins of Mount Grace Priory, grade 1. Mount Grace House, formerly the gatehouse of the priory, dated 1654, incorporating priory building on the N, grade 2*. (6)

Listed as having a moat, fish ponds and a (water?) mill. The SAM record suggests a manor, rather than a village, was supplanted by the priory. (7)

Mount Grace House, grade 2* and Mount Grace Priory, grade 1. (8)

Drawing surveys were carried out by the former Royal Commission on Historic Monuments in England (RCHME). (9-17)

Mount Grace Priory (SE 449 985) a Carthusian Monastery was founded in 1398 and suppressed in 1539 (authority 2). The priory is owned by the National trust but administered as an English Heritage guardianship monument with public access.

Excavations over the last century coupled with the surviving buildings have produced the most complete plan of a Carthusian house known in England. To the west of the standing buildings are a group of multiphase earthworks. They variously represent ponds and water channels probably of monastic origin and the remains of gardens associated with later houses.

This account is based upon a RCHME archaeological level 3 survey which is deposited with the NMR. (18)

Additional References. See especially the 1991 guide (or the 1996 reprint) by Glyn Coppack for a phased plan of the site. The guide also notes the historical background to the founding of the priory, which was that its endowment of supporting ecclestical properties in Ware Hinkley, Wareham and Carisbrooke were seized from French parent monastic houses during the 100 Years War. (19-20)

A conservation statement for Mount Grace Priory was published by English Heritage in 2002. (21)]

The medieval monastery and associated fish ponds are visible as earthworks and demolished buildings on air photographs centred at SE 4486 9853. The features are extant on the latest 2009 vertical photography.
(22)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1914
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
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Page(s) : 135
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Source Number : 11
Source : Mount Grace
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Source Number : 12
Source : Mount Grace/pencil survey
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Source Number : 13
Source : Mount Grace, north-eastern range of cloister/pencil survey
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Source Number : 14
Source : Mount Grace, southern precinct/pencil survey
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Source Number : 15
Source : Mount Grace, south-eastern range of cloister/pencil survey
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Source Number : 16
Source : Mount Grace, south-western range of cloister/pencil survey
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Source Number : 17
Source : Mount Grace
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Source Number : 18
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Wayne Cocroft/07-FEB-1995/RCHME: Mount Grace Priory Survey
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Source Number : 20
Source : Mount Grace Priory, North Yorkshire [guide]
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Source Number : 21
Source : English Heritage Yorkshire Region Conservation Statements
Source details : Mount grace Priory, Oct-2002
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details : M W Beresford
Page(s) : 295
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Vol(s) : 38, 1955
Source Number : 22
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SE 4598/1 NMR 12151/71 29-JUL-1991
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Source Number : 4
Source : Mount Grace Priory, Yorkshire [guide]
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DS 21-NOV-72
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Northallerton Rural District, JUN-1968
Page(s) : 14
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Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 26-Jun-92
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Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Hambleton, 11-DEC-1987
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Source Number : 9
Source : Mount Grace, cloister and precinct/ink survey
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Source Number : 10
Source : Mount Grace, ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Monastic use 1398 to 1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1398
Monument Type : Carthusian Monastery, Fishpond, Church, Refectory, Monastic Dwelling, Stable, Granary, Chapel, Chapter House, Guest House
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork, Extant Building, Demolished Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built about 1400-1410
Monument End Date : 1410
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Carthusian Monastery
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 1420-1430
Monument End Date : 1430
Monument Start Date : 1420
Monument Type : Carthusian Monastery
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 1470-1480
Monument End Date : 1480
Monument Start Date : 1470
Monument Type : Carthusian Monastery
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 1520
Monument End Date : 1520
Monument Start Date : 1520
Monument Type : Carthusian Monastery
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13281
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 10
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 332435
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 12052/05
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 377
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 191
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 49 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 55679
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 324029
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 338095
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 55679
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 968136
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1896-01-01
End Date : 1905-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 49 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-11-21
End Date : 1972-11-21
Associated Activities : Primary, MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: MOUNT GRACE PRIORY SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-07-07
End Date : 1992-08-14
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT MOUNT GRACE PRIORY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: NORTH YORK MOORS NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2010-06-01
End Date : 2011-05-01