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MONKS HORTON PRIORY

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The Cluniac monastery of St. John the Evangelist, situated on a tributary of the East Stour River, approximately 10 kilometres south-east of Ashford. The monastery was founded in around 1142 by Robert de Vere, as a dependency of Lewes Priory in Sussex. Horton priory was dissolved in 1536 and many of the buildings demolished. The western range was re-used as a residence after 1538 and has been used as such since then. Major restoration work was carried out in 1913-14. The main claustral buildings lie towards the centre of the site, arranged around a square cloister yard. The standing parts incorporate the western range, originally the prior's lodgings, and an attached fragment of the west wall of the mainly demolished church. The buildings date to the second half of the 12th century, with 14th and 15th century remodellings and additions. They are 2-storey and ashlar-faced, with dressings and decoration of high architectural quality. The church was aisled and originally around 14.6 metres wide internally, with a projecting stair-turret between the nave and each aisle. A group of earthworks to the south-west and north-east of the site represent at least two fishponds, now dry, a water management system, and a number of demolished buildings. Scheduled.

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