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WARTER PRIORY

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Augustinian Abbey from 1132-1181/92, and priory thereafter until dissolved in 1536. The priory was founded in 1132 by Geoffrey FitzPain, on a site already occupied by a church served by canons. Initially the priory was a daughter house of Arrouaise, but it gained its independence in 1162. It was suppressed in 1536, and granted to the Earl of Rutland. After the Dissolution the nave of the priory church continued in use as the parish church until it was demolished in 1864 and replaced by the present building. Extensive earthworks are visible across the entire site. These include building platforms and foundations, some of which are identified as remains of the church and cloisteral buildings. On the North side of the site, a linear earthwork may be an original boundary around the inner monastic precinct. A complex of water- management features, including dry fishponds, is also visible. The South portion of the site includes the churchyard of the modern parish church of St James, built on the site of the monastic church. In 1899 William St John Hope carried out a short programme of excavations to the East of the present church, uncovering foundations of the priory church's tower, the North end of a transept and what were believed to be foundations of chapter house and presbytery walls.

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