The Friends of Chicksands Priory

The History of Chicksands Priory 1150 to the Present day

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Chicksands Priory has been here since 1150, and has the only surviving remains of a Gilbertine cloister.

When Henry VIII closed all the monasteries he pensioned the Gilbertines off and provided cottages for the monks and nuns, and didn't cause any harm, as they were well respected to be pious and non political.

Chicksands Priory was officially dissolved on 22nd Octber 1538, and due the fact they had no other houses on the continent, as the other orders did, the Gilbertines never continued, and was closed down for good.

The building as we see it today does not give the visitor much idea as to how large the monastic complex was when completed to enclose the nuns and lay-sisters, and for the canons and lay-brothers.
Two cloisters were separated by the church, with all the other buildings necessary to make it a self-contained religious community. Built primarily for the nuns the canons were there as chaplains to support the enclosed women.

The plan of Watton Priory is of some help and the excavations by Channel 4’s Time Team, 2001, exposed a part of what is believed to have been the monastic hospital.

The western range of the ground floor gives a more monastic feel to the visitor.

Floor Plan of the Priory.

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