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DUDLEY PRIORY

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The priory of St James was founded by Gervase Pagnell circa 1149-60 and was dependent on Much Wenlock as an alien priory of Cluniac monks. It was dissolved in 1395, but refounded as a denizen priory until finally dissolved in 1539. Cleared and preserved by DOE when small trial excavations were made in order to explore the earlier history of the conventual buildings. The remains are preserved in good order within Priory Park, a public open space in Dudley. The lines of destroyed walls are marked out in the turf by cement strips. The excavations revealed that the claustral range, to the North of the church, was laid out at the same time as the aisleless church in the 12th century. The original church consisted of a nave, apsidal quire, and transepts with apsidal East chapels. The quire was extended in the 13th century, and a South chapel added to it in the 13th-15th centuries. Of the claustral range, the foundations indicated 12th century origins for the chapter house and day room in the East range, a rebuilding of the frater circa 1200, and of the West range in the 13th century. Scheduled and listed.

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