A Priory of Augustinian Canons was founded at Church Gresley either in the reign of Stephen (1) or Henry I (2) and dissolved in 1536. The parish church of St Mary and St George formed part of the monastic buildings, the nave being used by the parishioners and the choir or chancel being the priory chapel. The latter was pulled down, together with the rest of the priory buildings, soon after the dissolution, and much of the material is supposed to have been used in building Gresley Hall. Some ruins remained, however, as indicated by an engraving of the church made in 1789 which shows a lofty turret attached to the north-east angle of the tower and a ruined building with a pointed archway extending from it towards the east. A sketch of 1816 shows similar details. Shortly after this, the remaining ruins of the priory to the east of the church tower were swept away. In 1839 the site of the choir was purchased as an addition to the churchyard and, human remains being found there, consecration was not required. With further enlargement of the churchyard to the south of the church in 1861, it was necessary to establish whether the land had been consecrated and as a result some interesting traces of the old priory were brought to light. They included a wall foundation c.10m south of the south-east angle of the tower, with fragments of 14th century masonry, glass and encaustic tiles. Numerous interments were found, three of which were in stone coffins, and a large number of architectural fragments were recovered. Other foundations were found to the east and west, enough to show that the priory was built on the usual plan. (2)
There are amorphous, part-filled hollows to the south and east of the church but no surface evidence of monastic buildings. (3)
Bibliographic reference: Knowles, D & Hadcock, R. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. p134.
Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. III. pp 367-374.
Personal Observation: F1 FRH 04-AUG-66.
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Centred SK 29333 18091 (98m by 89m) (Centre)
SWADLINCOTE, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Oct 13 2015 4:44PM
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