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TOTNES PRIORY

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A Benedictine monastery founded in 1088 as an alien cell of St Serge, Angers. It became independent in 1416 and was dissolved in 1536. After the Dissolution in 1536 the greater part of the priory church of St Mary was adapted for use as the parish church and the convental buildings on the north side were incorporated in the new Guildhall buildings (see SX86SW110). The courtroom appears to be on the site of the monastic refectory and retains some of the original window openings, the main refectory entrance to Guildhall yard (formerly the site of the cloister) and an internal doorway to the site of the monastic kitchen at the west end; later the prison. At the east end a building with a vaulted undercroft (possibly the Prior's lodging) formed the nucleus of the grammar school established in 1553. (see SX86SW111 for the grammar school on the site of the priory lodgings undercroft).
The buried remains of the priory church and its claustral buildings which lie within the churchyard and beneath the lane and a small portion of the Anglo-Saxon burgh including part of its defensive ramparts are scheduled.

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