Things to See and Do
Discover the Norman chapter house, built around 1140 as the “business” centre of the monastery, where the monks and the prior met each morning to discuss affairs, and administer punishments for disobedience.
Today, you can still see much of its elaborate stone carving, with interlocking round arches on multiple carved columns, and don’t miss the grotesque head, humorously carved in the lintel of the doorway.
Take time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the topiary-filled cloister garden, which is set against the backdrop of the complete infirmary wing, converted into a mansion after the priory's dissolution and still a private residence today.
Make sure you see the most unusual octagonal lavabo, the huge water vessel built around 1220 and used by monks to wash their hands before eating in the nearby refectory. Embellished with 12th-century carvings, depicting Christ and the apostles, free-standing lavabos of this kind are rarely seen in the United Kingdom.
Visit the priory’s library and discover the locally-made medieval floor tiles, which have been re-laid to give an impression of what they would have originally looked like.
Notice the difference in the three doorways of the library, the central archway was the original entrance; the other two were added after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when the priory was used as a farm.
Heritage Inspired Shopping
Come and browse heritage inspired gifts, traditional children's toys and souvenirs.
Sample our wide selection of wines, chutneys and jams or pick up information on events and other English Heritage properties.