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Premonstratensian priory chapel 170m south west of Priory Farm

A Scheduled Monument in West Ravendale, North East Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4795 / 53°28'46"N

Longitude: -0.1532 / 0°9'11"W

OS Eastings: 522658.8665

OS Northings: 399674.402001

OS Grid: TF226996

Mapcode National: GBR WXC6.MF

Mapcode Global: WHHJ4.MS8X

Entry Name: Premonstratensian priory chapel 170m south west of Priory Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019867

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34702

County: North East Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: West Ravendale

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Ravendale

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes standing and associated buried remains of a small
medieval building thought to have been part of West Ravendale Priory. It is
located 170m south west of Priory Farm.
West Ravendale Priory was a small monastery belonging to the Premonstratensian
Order, one of the smaller monastic orders in England and was a cell, a
dependant institution, of Beauport Abbey in Brittany. It is thought to have
been founded in circa 1202 by Alan, son of Earl Henry of Brittany. In the
early 14th century the priory's buildings were described as ruinous. In 1381
West Ravendale had just two canons and the priory was dissolved in 1389,
passing to the Crown. Some time between 1403 and 1413, West Ravendale was
granted by Henry IV to his wife Joan of Navarre. Then, after her death in
1437, the estate was granted to the dean and chapter of Southwell College in
1439 or 1452. By 1878 the monument was described as retaining a single ruined
building with the remains of both north and south doors, an east window and a
tiled floor.
The monument includes the remains of the building described in 1878. It is
Listed Grade II and rectangular in plan, some 14m by 5m internally, orientated
with its long axis approximately east-west. Part of the north and east walls
remain standing up to 2.5m high, constructed of chalk, ironstone and flint
rubble with some squared blocks. Footings of the rest of the walls survive as
earthworks and buried remains. The building has been interpreted as an ante
portas chapel, a small chapel sited outside of the gates to the priory. It is
positioned on a raised mound up to 2m high which is 21m east-west and 14m
north-south. This mound is also included within the monument and will retain
additional buried remains related to the priory.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597
to the reign of Henry VIII, monasticism formed an important facet of both
religious and secular life in the British Isles. Settlements of religious
communities, including monasteries, were built to house communities of monks,
canons (priests), and sometimes lay-brothers, living a common life of
religious observance under some form of systematic discipline. It is estimated
from documentary evidence that over 700 monasteries were founded in England.
These ranged in size from major communities with several hundred members to
tiny establishments with a handful of brethren. They belonged to a wide
variety of different religious orders, each with its own philosophy. As a
result, they vary considerably in the detail of their appearance and layout,
although all possess the basic elements of church, domestic accommodation for
the community, and work buildings. Monasteries were inextricably woven into
the fabric of medieval society, acting not only as centres of worship,
learning and charity, but also, because of the vast landholdings of some
orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence. They were
established in all parts of England, some in towns and others in the remotest
of areas. Many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish
churches, almshouses, hospitals, farming estates and tenant villages. The
Premonstratensian order, or "White Canons", were not monks in the strict sense
but rather communities of priests living together under a rule. The first
Premonstratensian establishments were double houses (for men and women), but
later they founded some 45 houses for men in England. The Premonstratensian
order modelled itself on the Cistercian values of austerity and seclusion and
founded all its monasteries in rural locations.

Very few Premonstratensian monasteries in England retain any standing walls
and such remains of small rural priories of any order are also relatively rare
nationally. The walling and associated buried remains at West Ravendale will
provide insights into medieval monasticism which are not represented by the
often more visually impressive remains of larger abbeys.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Record cards, Sites & Monuments Record, 1208, (2000)
Stopford, Jenny, Research project on medieval floor tiles - forthcoming, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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