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WYKEHAM PRIORY

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The upstanding and buried remains of Wykeham Cistercian priory which was founded in 1153 for a community of nuns. In 1540, the priory was dissolved and in 1544 the priory and a grange was granted to Francis Poole. The north wall of the priory church is the only upstanding fabric of Wykeham priory which survives. It is about 40 metres long and 2 metres wide. The original fabric of the wall is roughly coursed sandstone rubble with a chamfered string course. The wall also has a 14th century three light window, a doow with a semi-circular arch infilled with some fragments of decorative stonework, and two blocked arches which led to the north transept. The Dissolution survey of 1540 describes the priory church as 90 feet (28m) long by 22 feet (6.5m) wide. To the south of this was a cloister 60 feet (18m) square. The east range of the cloister housed the parlour, a warming-room, a chapter house and dorter. The south range was a double-storeyed building with cellarage and a refectory. The west range served a combination of functions including guest house, prioress's lodging, and store rooms. To the west of this inner court was the outer court which contained the resident priest's lodgings, guest house, dairy, bakehouse, brewhouse and granary. At the entrance to the outer court was the gatehouse. Significant information of the form and structure of these buildings will be preserved beneath the present ground surface. The east and south precinct boundaries are also evident by a drop in ground level. Scheduled.

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