Gisborough Priory Collection Highlights

The collection from Gisborough Priory comprises mainly decorative architectural stonework. Primarily dating from the late 12th to 14th centuries, it reflects the major periods of building the priory church, offering exceptional evidence for the adornment of both the Romanesque and later Gothic church.

There is also an important group of Romanesque figurative sculpture – an incredibly rare survival which echoes the priory’s wealth and patronage. Some of these sculptures are comparable to examples from St Mary’s Abbey, York, so similar that they must have derived from the same workshop.

The earliest excavations at Gisborough Priory were instigated by the then owner, Captain (later Admiral) Thomas Chaloner, in 1867, with further excavations following in 1932 when the site was taken into the care of the Office of Works. The collection contains material from both these investigations.   

Explore a selection of highlights from the collection below.

Find out more

  • Visit Gisborough Priory

    Dominated by the dramatic skeleton of the church’s east end, the priory remains today give us a tantalising glimpse of Gisborough’s former riches.

  • History of Gisborough Priory

    Founded in about 1119 by an ancestor of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, Gisborough Priory was rebuilt twice on a grand scale. At the time of its suppression in 1539 it was the fourth richest monastery in Yorkshire.

  • Buy the guidebook

    This fully illustrated guidebook contains a comprehensive history of the priory as well as a complete tour of the impressive remains.

  • Plan of Gisborough Priory

    Download this PDF plan of the priory to explore the priory and see how its buildings developed over time.