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KIRKHAM PRIORY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  PRIORY OF THE HOLY TRINITY
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The remains of the Medieval Augustinian Priory of the Holy Trinity. Kirkham Priory was founded by Walter Espec, Lord of Helmsley, in the 1120s. Soon after its foundation it survived a move to transfer it to the Cistercian order and flourished under the de Roos family. By the end of the 13th century the priory was heavily in debt but it continued to support a prior and 16 canons almost up to its supression in 1539. The standing remains include the 12th and 13th century ruins of the priory church whose east front is still partly upstanding and forms the north range of the cloister. The late 13th century chapter house and dorter (dormitory) form the east range while the frater is located to the south. The west range is made up of the guest house and kitchen. To the south of the east range lay a complex of late 13th and 14th century buildings comprising the kitchen, prior's lodging, infirmary and reredorter (in other words the communal privy or latrine). A separate gatehouse dating to the late 13th century stands to the north-west, and the stump of a 14th century cross stands outside (see record 59654 for the cross). To the north and east of the upstanding remains, traces of a right-angled bank make up the visible remains of the precinct boundary. To the north-west of the precinct is a line of three associated fishponds. An interesting footnote in the later history of the site is that the area around the priory was used to test "swimming" vehicles in preparation for D-Day and as such was visited by Winston Churchill. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.