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MATTERSEY PRIORY

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The now ruined Mattersey Priory was founded in 1185 by Roger FitzRalph for six canons of the Gilbertine order, which was the only order of purely English origin. Never prosperous, the priory suffered badly when the church was destroyed by fire in 1279 and it was never rebuilt. In 1538 the priory was dissolved by King Henry VIII and its estate was granted to the Neville family. These monastic ruins are situated on the west bank of the River Idle, east of Mattersey village. The visible remains include part of the 12th century church, three partly blocked arches of the refectory, the south wall, the foundations of the 14th century kitchen, and, to the north of the church, a 15th century tower. Partial excavation of the site in 1914 revealed the buried foundations of the east and south ranges of the cloister. The east range consisted of a single ground floor room with the sleeping quarters above, and the south range, the undercroft below the refectory. The foundations of the west range also survive beneath the present ground surface, and the remains of ancillary buildings such as barns, a bakehouse and an infirmary, will lie along with the remains of stock pens and enclosures, within the area of the outer precinct and under the present farm buildings and yards of Abbey Farm.

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