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LATTON PRIORY

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The Augustinian priory of St John the Baptist was founded in the 12th century by an ancestor of Thomas Shaa, who was recorded as the benefactor in 1534. In 1536 the priory was Dissolved and granted to Sir Henry Parker. The moated island, which served as the inner precinct and on which the claustral range originally stood, is trapezoidal in plan. measuring between 70-100 metres from east to west and between 70-80 metres north to south. The northern and eastern arms have now been infilled and are covered by a yard and the modern outbuildings of Latton Priory Farm. The priory church, which was completely rebuilt in the 14th century using flint rubble dressed with reused Roman brick and Reigate stone, stood towards the northern corner of the island. The church crossing survives nearly to its full height. The north transept is represented by standing walls to the east and west whilst a section of east wall, with a diagonal butress at the southern end, survives to mark the position of the south transept. The church is thought to have formed the northern arm of the claustral range which would have included a dormitory extending from the south transept, a cellarer's range to the east and a refectory to the south, completing a square surrounding the cloister garth. The present farmhouse replaced an earlier house demolished in the late 18th century and is thought to stand on the site of the refectory. Material similar to that used in the construction of the church was found beneath the south wall during the demolition of the earlier building. The remainder of the island, to the south of the farm, is fairly level and lacks surface evidence for the presence of ancillary buildings. The south eastern corner of the island contains a small fishpond whilst a larger fishpond lies outside the moat to the south.

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