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PONTEFRACT PRIORY

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Cluniac priory, founded by Robert de Lacy in 1090, the monks originaly being housed at the Hospital of St Nicholas, which was given to the Priory. The buildings were destroyed during the Anarchy, and while they were being rebuilt, 1153-1159, the monks were housed at Broughton. Dependent on La Charite, and later directly on Cluny, it became denizen in 1393 and was dissolved in 1539. Excavations in the 1960's and 1970's have recovered the entire plan of the church and claustral complex. The latter lay to the South of the church and was largely completed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The chapter house was rebuilt in the 13th-14th centuries. The early conventual church was cruciform and consisted of an aisled nave, apsidal quire, and transepts with Eastern apses. The quire was lengthened as a rectangular, aisled structure in the late 13th century, and shortened in the 15th century. The excavations also revealed a number of hearths to the North of the church, one having evidence of bell-casting. A lime kiln was also discovered. Dependencies: Monk Bretton, and St Nicholas' Hospital, Pontefract.

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