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The main conventual buildings consisted of:

  • A cloister, with a flat timber-framed roof covered with lead, each tiled walk measuring 104 by 12ft. and flanked by low stone seats.
  • A frater (100 by 15ft.).
  • A tiled dorter (200 by 18ft.), with partitions below, each with a flat leaden roof.
  • A tiled chapter-house.
  • A ‘jesse’ (110 by 16ft.), with a flat leaden roof containing Mistress Darrell’s ceiled chamber, and at the lower end, Mistress Warder’s chamber;
  • A convent kitchen, probably stone-roofed, and a hall (70 by 14ft.), similarly roofed, which was connected to the kitchen by a ‘little entry’ with a leaded spiral staircase. There were perhaps two convent kitchens, for a ‘new’ one was eventually reroofed with lead from other parts of the buildings. The hall is perhaps the same as the ‘leaden hall’ with a wooden floor upon which the garden side of the two chambers abutted. There are, however, also references to a little chamber called ‘the leaden chambers’. The convent kitchen formed one side of a quadrangle around which the prioress’s lodging, consisting of a hall, buttery, pantry, kitchen and gatehouse, was ranged.
  • An abbess’s chamber (24 by 14ft.) with flat leaden roof is mentioned, but its relationship to the kitchen range is not clear, and the Prioress Joan Darrell seems to have lived in the ‘jesse’.
  • Lodgings for a steward, receiver, and priests.
  • Kent’s chamber (65 by 10ft.) with a flat leaden roof.
  • Joan Horner’s chamber, with a roof crested with lead.
  • The ceiled White Chambers, Jane Hildesle’s and Maurice Halcombe’s chambers, all these three have wooden floors.
  • Christine Hildesle’s parlour chamber, with a partition and a little buttery in it. There are also references to a tiled parlour (22 ft. square), sometimes called the ‘old’ parlour, with a leaden ‘bastard’ roof and an inner chamber in it.
  • A sacristy, with lodgings adjacent.
  • The ‘old’ infirmary, with a chapel, cloister and adjacent lodgings and outhouses. The infirmary cloister is perhaps the same as the ‘little cloisters’, beside which were two chambers, one tiled and the other measuring 17 by 15ft.


Finally, there are references to the chapel chamber, the high hall chamber, the ‘long stake’ with a haybarn adjoining,the old stables of four rooms (built of stone with a tiled ‘cutting’ at one end), a wheat barn, the ‘great barn’, a gatehouse and houses in the base court, a bakehouse, a laundry, Master Horner’s house and chambers with a leaden roof, and the Middle House by the park. The last was built of stone, roofed with slates, and was of two floors with a staircase.

What did the priory consist of?

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The precinct of the priory, with its paled park (containing the graveyard), gardens, orchards, and fishponds, covered 12 acres. The buildings lay athwart the site on which the present mansion stands and therefore some 200 metres from the parish church and village street.

The ground plan cannot be reconstructed, and we know little of the individual buildings.

The great church of the monastery consisted of a nave (120ft.), choir (51ft.), north and south transepts (39 and 40 ft.), all with pitched leaden roofs, and a vestry (22ft.), with a flat leaden roof. There were chapels, similarly roofed, dedicated to Our Lady (32ft.) and St. John, as befitted a church of the Fontevrauldine Order. The choir roof was ceiled; the transept and vestry roofs were timbered. The choir, south transept, and vestry, or parts of them at least, were tiled. An octagonal steeple, timber-framed and coated with lead, measured 61ft. Each side of the octagon was 10ft, at the base and tapered to 6 in. at the top. Four bells (weighting 14 cwt.) hung in the steeple. Before the high altar and in the north transept there were tombstones. These was a door in the south transept and possibly another on ‘the conventsyde’.