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LEEDS PRIORY

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The Augustinian Priory of St Mary and St Nicholas at Leeds was founded by Robert de Crevecoeur in 1119 and continued in existence until 1539. An extensive mansion was built in the vicinity by 1719, which in turn was demolished at the end of the 18th century. Nothing now remains above the ground of the church or claustral buildings. An extensive excavation was undertaken by the Kent Archaeological Society in 1973. The Norman cruciform church was extended in the 14th century, particularly the prsebytery being rebuilt with aisles and lengthened. Unusually, the short, 5-bay Norman nave with its West porch was not remodelled. The claustral range lay to the South. The East range consisted of the chapter house and dormitory, the South range had the refectory and kitchen. The only building which survived the Dissolution was the slype, which is a rectangular building , 45 feet by 12 feet, aligned North-South, and still standing to 10 feet high. Originally built in ragstone, it was partly rebuilt in brick in the 16th century. In the 19th century, a red brick chimney was added.

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