Kirkham Priory

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Kirkham Priory

North Riding

Kirkham Priory
Grid reference: SE73586577
Location: 54°7’59"N, 0°47’54"W
Order: Augustinian
Established: 1120s
Owned by: English Heritage
Website: Kirkham Priory

Kirkham Priory stands in ruins on the banks of the River Derwent, at Kirkham in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

The priory was founded in the 1120s by Walter l'Espec, lord of nearby Helmsley, who also built Rievaulx Abbey, and given to the Augustinian order. Legend has it that Kirkham was founded in remembrance of l'Espec's only son who had died nearby from a fall when his horse was startled by a boar.

The area was later used to test the D-Day landing vehicles, and was visited by Winston Churchill.[1]

The ruins are now Grade I listed and in the care of English Heritage.

Gatehouse ruins

Kirkham Priory gatehouse ruins

The Gatehouse of Kirkham Priory, built c.1290-5, is a specimen of Gothic mediæval architecture. It is a rare survival of such a gatehouse, comparable to that of Butley Priory in Suffolk. It has a wide arch of continuous mouldings with a crocketed gable running up to the windows, with sculptures of St George and the Dragon on the left, and David and Goliath to the right. Above the arch is Christ in a pointed oval recess, plus two figures below of St Bartholomew and St Philip, in niches. There are also many escutcheons with the armorials of the various benefactors of the Priory, including the arms of de Ros, Scrope, de Forz, Vaux, FitzRalph, Espec, de Clare and de Ros

Outside links

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about Kirkham Priory)