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POLSLOE PRIORY

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The standing and buried remains of St Katherine's Priory, Polsloe, a Benedictine nunnery founded before 1159 and dissolved in 1539. The standing remains of the west range of the cloister take the form of a free-standing, rectangular two-storeyed building, Listed Grade II*. This building represents the extent of the main part of the west range which was in existence until circa 1300. The fabric of this structure, mainly local breccia, is visible in the east end of the present north wall, and as a plinth. In circa 1300 the west range was rebuilt, mainly in local sandstone. Most of the fabric of the existing structure dates to this period. The ground floor of the range was occupied by a storeroom with a parlour in the northern bay. The first floor provided accommodation and a garderobe. This structure was converted into a community centre in 1980. The buried remains of the priory church occupy a slightly elevated position at the northern end of the site. The remains of the cloister garth are located adjacent to the south side of the church which was enlarged after 1300. The east range originated as a long narrow building about 41 metres by 7 metres. The sacristy and chapter house would have been located in this range with the nuns dorter on the upper floor. The southern end of the west range was progressively extended by a sequence of kitchen buildings, and the area between the east and west ranges, bordered to the north by the south range containing the refectory, appears to have been enclosed as a garden. After the reconstruction of circa 1300 the east range was widened to 10 metres, the west range extended with rebuilt kitchens, and the south range moved southwards to accommodate a larger cloister. The area to the north east of the church was traditionally occupied by the monastic burial ground. Part excavation has revealed burials to the east of the church, and within the church, cloister, sacristy, and chapter house. Scheduled.

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