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DODFORD PRIORY

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The buried and earthwork remains of the large triangular moated site of Dodford Priory measuring 240 metres by 180 metres, orientated north-south. The priory was founded in 1184 and fell within the confines of the Royal Forest of Feckenham. Dodford Priory was a small cell of Augustinian canons and was never wealthy. It was annexed by the Premonstratensian monastery of Halesowen in 1332. By 1500 only one canon remained serving the chapel and the estates were leased out. The priory was dissolved in 1536. The moat island is large, measuring 200 metres by 165 metres. The main buildings of the priory were sited in the vicinity of the present house (excluded from the scheduling but Listed Grade II*) which is believed to contain the remains of the refectory. Some traces of earlier structures can be seen in the gardens around the existing house. The chapel is thought to have been on the south side of the court. The northern portion of the island has been used as an orchard and has an uneven surface with depressions indicating the survival of buildings or either garden remains. The surface of the island is lower than that of the surrounding land, except towards the north where the island slopes gently upwards. The circuit of the moat is complete except along the northern angle, towards the road where it has been partly infilled and built over. The moat is water-logged and is 15 metres to 20 metres wide across the top and 2 metres to 5 metres deep. To the east are the remains of two substantial fishponds. Following the Dissolution the priory was rebuilt as a farmhouse in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Further alterations were carried out in the mid 19th century and again in the late 20th century when the building was converted to a private house. Scheduled.

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