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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Priory Barn, Priory Avenue, Taunton
Civil Parish: Taunton
Part of:
PRN 44434Priory of St Peter and St Paul, Taunton
PRN 12254Watching brief (1988), Priory Barn, Taunton
PRN 30681Watching brief (2011), Priory Barn, Taunton
PRN 44699Excavation and recording (1977-1978), Priory Barn, Taunton
PRN 44700Evaluation (1994), Priory Barn, Taunton
PRN 46131Priory Barn, Priory Avenue (North side), Taunton
Grid Ref: ST 230 250 (ST 22 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 44205 - Photo by Somerset County Council (14 December 2009)
  HER 44205 - Photo by Somerset County Council (14 December 2009)

Public access:

As far as we are aware this site is open to the public at certain times. (Somerset Criscket Museum). [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]


The so-called Priory Barn is the only standing survival of Taunton Priory (PRN 44434). Excavations and recording of the building in 1977 (PRN 44699) revealed that it was the second structure on the site replacing a C13-14 building in the late C15 or early C16. It is clear that the building originally extended further to the N. The original walling survived to a height of 5m with several original windows and a door. There were clear signs that 6 buttresses had been removed from the structure, some later replaced at various times. On the southern end evidence survived of two arches which had spanned an entrance through the range showing that the present building was accompanied by a now demolished structure to the S. It was also clear that this end of the building was of two storeys although the remainder is likely to have been an open hall. At least three phases of subsequent alteration were evident - one of which involved the insertion of reused windows, probably from an earlier (?C13) priory building, in the post-dissolution phase. Two large openings were made when the building was converted to a barn, probably C18 or early C19.

The presence of the passage suggests that the building formed part of an entrance to an inner court as it does not appear to be on the correct alignment to have formed part of the external precinct. {1}

A medieval bronze bowl was dug up immediately to the west of the barn in about 1932 at a depth of 6 ft. It features an inscribed drawing of a dog and is of early C12 date. {2}

The barn was descheduled in early 1999. It was Somerset 195. {3}


1 Detailed records - Leach, PJ. The Priory Barn, 1977-78. In Leach, P (ed). The Archaeology of Taunton: Excavations and Fieldwork to 1980.  (1984) at 111-24..
2 Detailed records - Gray, H St G. Early medieval bowl from Taunton Priory. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History  84 (1938), 100-03
3 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (24/2/1999) Location: HER files.

Record created in June 1992

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