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ALDGATE PRIORY

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Site of the Austin Priory at Aldgate, founded by Queen Maud, 1107-8. It was dissolved in 1534, and largely demolished thereafter, having been in a state of disrepair since 1532. It was founded on the site of the Church of Holy Cross and St Mary Magdalene. Little is known of this earlier church, but excavations have demonstrated the existence of a Late Saxon cemetery containing 42 burials, so it is conceivable that the earlier church had Saxon origins. The canons rebuilt the priory church from 1339 onwards at great expense. Part of the church had been set aside for the use of the parishioners, but this proved to be too small and a new parish church, St Katherine Cree was built for their use in the early 15th century. This church still exists (TQ38SW1364). Excavations on the site in 1984 revealed the aforementioned Saxon cemetery, South transept of the priory church, a separate apsidal chapel to the North-East, and a second chapel East of that. Both chapels were extant in the 14th and 15th centuries. The apsidal chapel was used as a store in the post-Dissolution period in the 16th century. It was used for various purposes until the Second World War, when it was demolished. Part of a 15th century arch at 39/40 Mitre Street and 72/3 Leadenhall Street survives and is listed Grade II. Dependencies: Hospital of St Katherin by the Tower, London.

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