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CANONS ASHBY PRIORY

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Augustinian priory founded between 1147 and 1151, dissolved in 1536. After Dissolution the monastic buildings were converted into a secular residence which was succeeded in less than 20 years by a country house established in the original core of the village, now Canons Ashby House (see UID 339695). The present St Mary's Church represents the standing remains of the western part of the nave of the monastic church. Adjacent to the east is a raised rectangular platform about 50 metres long and 20 metres wide which was partly excavated in the 19th century revealing the foundations of the eastern parts of the original church. Adjacent to the south of the remains of the church are those of the monastic cloister. These were found to have been converted into domestic outbuildings in the late 16th century. The boundary of the monastic precinct and of the country house which developed out of it is represented by a series of earthworks and buried deposits and by a fragment of standing masonry. To the east of the monastic precinct is an area of pasture known as Canons Walk, bounded on the north and east by a linear bank with a ditch on each side. The interior of the enclosure is largely level. On its western side is a shallow depression representing the site of a building, and to the south is a circular mound 0.5 metres high. These features are considered to represent the remains of a post-Dissolution garden established in the mid-16th century. The linear bank served as a raised walk from which planting on the interior of the garden would have been viewed, and the circular mound is a prospect mound constructed as a vantage point from which the whole garden could be seen. The earthworks were surveyed by RCHME field staff in 1992.

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