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Historic England Research Records

Drax Priory

Hob Uid: 57907
Location :
North Yorkshire
Selby
Long Drax
Grid Ref : SE6685828483
Summary : The buried and earthwork remains of an Augustinian priory founded in the 1130s by William Paynel and dissolved in 1535.The priory is recorded as having a church, cloister, infirmary, refectory, prior's chamber and dormitory in 13th century documents. Drainage works have converted the marsh into farmland, with the original island granted to the Augustinians now standing 3-4 metres above the surrounding area. The priory is thought to have occupied all of this island, with buildings located within a precinct enclosure. The main route of the priory is thought to have been along Pear Tree Avenue, labelled as Ave Maria Lane on 19th century maps. The route approaches the monument from the east and would have provided access to the priory through a gatehouse thought to have been located in the area of the western part of the modern farmyard. To the north of the farmyard are the remains of the priory's eastern precinct boundary. The buildings of Drax Abbey farm are thought to overlie the remains of the priory's outer court. The inner court or core of the priory, including the church and the cloistral ranges, is thought to have been located on the higher ground to the west. In 1997 a geophysical survey of this area revealed wall lines of buried buildings. Some ponds, probably associated with the abbey were recorded from air photographs. Most are still extant as earthworks on the latest photography but the most westerly has been filled in and ploughed over and apppears as a soilmark.
More information : SE 667284. Site of Priory of Drax (NR). Augustinian. Founded AD 1130 1130-9. Dissolved 1535. Moat (NR). (1)

The Augustinain Priory of Drax was founded 1130-9 and dissolved 1535. (2)

The site is indicated by an area of hummocky ground suggestive of burial foundations. The moat has been largely filled in, and the slight remains now form no intelligible pattern. (3)

Indications on AP. (See Illustration card). (4)

The Augustinain Priory of Drax dedicated to St Nicholas. Detailed account. (5)

SE 668284. Site of Drax Abbey. Scheduled. (6)

Some ponds, probably associated with the abbey were recorded from air photographs. Most are still extant as earthworks on the latest photography but the most westerly has been filled in and ploughed over and apppears as a soilmark. The priory's eastern precinct boundary was seen and recorded as an earthwork, just to the north of Drax Abbey farm. (8)

Recent photography in 2000 shows an area of ditches and banks centred on SE 6664 2853, but which do not conform to an intelligible plan. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1958
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 136
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Field Investigator, RWE, 25-MAR-1963
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Source Number : 4
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : AP: CUC JH 13
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Source Number : 5
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York: volume three
Source details :
Page(s) : 205-8
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 62
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Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 07-Jul-99
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Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1954 2036 25-MAR-1947
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Source Number : 9
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 156
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Source Number : 10
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SE 6628/6 (17415/10) 17-JAN-2000
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded in 1130s
Monument End Date : 1139
Monument Start Date : 1130
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1130 to 1535
Monument End Date : 1535
Monument Start Date : 1130
Monument Type : Monastic Precinct, Precinct Wall, Priory, Gatehouse, Pond, Fishpond, Boundary
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit, Conjectural Evidence, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Recorded in C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1130
Monument Type : Priory, Church, Cloister, Infirmary, Refectory, Monastic Dwelling
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Dissolved in 1535
Monument End Date : 1535
Monument Start Date : 1535
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 9366.00001
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 684
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 32628
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 9366
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 9366.01
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 62 NE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 57932
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 62 NE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-03-25
End Date : 1963-03-25
Associated Activities : Primary, DRAX ABBEY
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DRAX POWER STATION
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DRAX ABBEY FARM
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: VALE OF YORK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1998-01-06
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EH: AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE (NORTH): 1999/00
Activity type : AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE
Start Date : 1999-04-01
End Date : 2000-03-31