Bridlington Priory

Bridlington Priory

Parish church
name= Priory Church of St Mary, Bridlington

dedication=St Mary
denomination=Church of England
parish= Bridlington
Rector =
website= [ Priory Church of St Mary Bridlington]

Priory Church of St. Mary, Bridlington, gbmapping|TA177680, commonly known as Bridlington Priory Church is a parish church in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, in the Diocese of York. It is on the site of an an Augustinian priory founded in 1113 which was dissolved during the Dissolution of the Monasteries



Bridlington Priory was founded around 1113 by Walter de Gant, for Augustinian Canons Regular, one of the earliest Augustinian houses in England, with an adjoining convent. Its foundation was confirmed in charters by Henry Icite web
title = History, topography, and directory of East Yorkshire (with Hull).
publisher = T Bulmer & Co
date = 1892
url =
format = html
accessdate = 2008-07-26
] cite book
last = Prickett
first = Marmaduke
title = History of the Priory Church of Bridlington
date = 1831
location = Cambridge
] The site had formerly been a Saxon church and nunnery. When complete, the building was over 400ft long and 75ft wide, with a transept which was 150ft long. The first prior is though to have been called Guicheman or Wickeman.

Early history

The priory was favoured by kings and their nobles and soon owned land across Yorkshire. The Canons from the priory established Newburgh Priory in 1145. King Stephen granted the priory should have right to have the property of felons and fugitives within the town and proceeds from the harbour and later King John gave the priory the right to hold a yearly fair in the town in 1200. During the conflict between King Stephen and Matilda, William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle (a Manor in Holderness which is now ‘lost’) advanced on the priory and expelled the canons in his campaign against Gilbert de Gant of Hunmanby. He fortified the priory and later gave the priory six parcels of land, one at Boynton and the rest in Holderness. [cite web
title = The Battle of Hunmanby 1143-44
publisher =
url =
format = html
accessdate = 2008-07-26
] Henry IV appropriated the rectory of Scarborough to the priory which was later confirmed by Henry V, Henry VI and Edward IV. A royal license was also granted by Richard II in 1388 to crenellate the priory with a wall and gates of stone. There were fourth gates, Kirk Gate, West Gate, Nun Gate and Bayle Gate. The the priory also had a large library, which listed by John Leland shortly before the dissolution.

Dissolution of the Monasteries

The priory was dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The priory was very wealthy at the time of the dissolution and its yearly income was estimated to be £547 6s. 11½D, and owned land stretching from Blubberhouses in the north, and Askham Richard, down to the Spurn Point.

The condition of the priory at the dissolution can be gathered from the report of Richard Pollard, a surveyor of Henry VIII. The Church was more than 390 feet in length, surrounded by the Chapter House, Treasury, Cloister, Prior's Hall, Infirmary. All the buildings were destroyed except the Nave which became the parish church and the Gate-house, which is now the Bayle Gate Museum. [cite web
title = Bridlington Priory Monastic Buildings
url =
format = html
accessdate = 2008-07-26
] Some of the stones from the old priory were used in the construction of the piers at Bridlington. The last Prior, William Wode, was executed at Tyburn for his part in the Pilgrimage of Grace.


For three centuries after the dissolution, the Nave continued to be used as the parish church and only a third of the building was actually used by the congregation. From 1846 the parish began to raise funds to restore the church and it partially re-roofed, the west window was opened out and filled with stained glass; the interior was white-washed; and the east window also was filled with stained glass. Around 1874 the church employed Sir George Gilbert Scott to completed refurbish the church as it is today. The total cost of the restoration was about £27,000.

People Connected to the Priory

*St John of Bridlington, English saint.
*Piers Langtoft who wrote a history of England in Anglo-Norman verse.
* Sir George Ripley, 15th century English alchemist.



*Priory Church: []
*Church Stained Glass: []

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