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Somerset Historic Environment Record

54294

Site Name: Montacute Priory
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Site of Cluniac priory immediately east of Abbey Farm [No:33723]
Civil Parish: Montacute
Comprises:
PRN 12166Earthwork survey (1997), Montacute Priory
PRN 12167Geophysical Survey (1997), Montacute Priory
PRN 54829Fishpond, the Priory, Montacute
PRN 54837Dovecote, Cluniac Priory, Montacute
Grid Ref: ST 495 168 (ST 41 NE)
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Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown but it should be visible from a public right of way. Please assume that the site is private property. [Information last updated on 17 December 2002]

Details:

A cluniac priory was founded at Montacute in 1102 and dissolved in 1539. {1}

The main buildings were probably S of Bishopston but only the dovecote (PRN 54837) and gate house remain (both listed buildings). Remains of an archway possibly connected with the priory were found in Townsend in 1863. Extensive earthworks in the field to the S of St Catherine's church may cover the foundations of the priory church and other buildings. Nearby is a fishpond (PRN 54829) with a rectangular earthwork further to the S (PRN 54293). A linear earthwork beyond that probably separated the inner precinct from the priory park (PRN 54295). {2}

Site lies within permanent pasture grazed by sheep and cows. {3}

The grant of the former priory lands to William Petre in 1539 included the site of the monastery and its immediate grounds, including the monk's graveyard. There is no mention of the monastic church, which was evidently demolished immediately. {4}

The site is in good condition under permanent grass. {7}

An assessment and collation of the available evidence was compiled within an MA dissertation, which included earthwork (PRN 12166) and geophysical survey (PRN 12167) of the priory remains. {8}

Scheduling revised with new national number (was Somerset 440) on 7/11/2001. {9}

Immediately to the NE of the priory is the "novo burgo", this was founded between 1086 and 1102 and donated to the priory in 1102, See PRN 54308 for more details.

See PRN 16252 for the deserted medieval hamlet of Lower Warren which may have been associated with the priory. {10}

There is a carved medieval stone in the possession of the owners of Abbey Farm which has been identified by Professor Rosmary Cramp as a C12 century grave marker. {11}

References:

1 Mention - Knowles, D and Hadcock, RN. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales.  (1971), 97 and 101.
2 Mention - Aston, M and Leech, R. Historic Towns in Somerset.  (1977), 105.
3 Detailed records - HBMC Field Monument Wardens report (SCC Planning Department)
4 Mention - Dunning, RW (ed). Victoria History of the County of Somerset.  Vol. 3 (1974), 214.
5 Aerial photographs - Slide (SCC Planning Department) 5.080.0178-0179 July 1985
6 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1967 ST41NE6 (SCC Planning Department)
7 Site visit report - Graham, A. EH Field Monument Warden (17/1/2000)
8 Description - Clark, J. A Study of the Cluniac Priory of Montacute.  (1997) MA dissertation. Location: HER files under PRN 12166.
9 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council (23/11/2001)
10 Verbal communication - Matthew Nicholas (2/6/2003)
11 Correspondence - Prudden, H [Hugh] to Somerset County Council. (12/3/2005) with copy of Cramp letter and photgraph. Location: HER files.

Record created in December 1984

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