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BEESTON PRIORY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  PRIORY OF ST MARY
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The Augustinian Friary of St Mary was founded about the end of King John's reign, circa 1216, and dissolved 1539. It probably never had more than six Austin canons. The house, was, however, described as a priory of Carmelite friars in the patent rolls of 1400. Apparently it did not belong to the main congregation, but to a local order under Augustinian rule. This may explain how it temporarily came under the Carmelite Order. The priory church was circa 130ft. long with an aisleless nave. The monastic quarters have not been excavated. The cloister is now a back garden South of the nave of the church. The West wall still shows with the doorway and 14th century window above. There was a bell-turret at the junction of the nave and chancel South walls. To the North there was an early 14th century chapel North of the nave and another, larger, North of the chancel. There are extensive remains of the Priory Church, chapels, cloisters and chapter houses and fishponds are extant to the north and east. Aisleless nave with outshut to north (perhaps a sacristy), north transept with eastern chapel, possibly a south transept, chancel.

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