Sources for Mount Grace Priory

The following lists provide a summary of the main sources for our knowledge and understanding of Mount Grace Priory. The best introduction to the priory is the English Heritage guidebook (2014) and for the Carthusians in England, Christ’s Poor Men by Glyn Coppack and Mick Aston (Stroud, 2002).

Black and white photograph of excavations at Mount Grace priory in 1957, two diggers in flat caps, waistcoats and rolled up sleeves
Excavators at the priory in 1957, beside the newly discovered remains of the latrine of Cell 2 © Historic England Archive

Primary Sources (Unpublished)

The British Library

  • Add MS 37049 [a Carthusian miscellany produced either at Mount Grace or Beauvale charterhouse in the early 15th century] [accessed 5 June 2014]
  • Add MS 48965 [letters addressed mostly to Henry, Lord Clifford (d.1523), and his son, also Henry, Lord Clifford, including letters from John Wilson, prior of Mount Grace, describing in detail building works at the priory, 1522–3; from John Norton, also prior, c 1521; and from Richard Methley, a monk of the priory, c 1510–15; see also Dickens (1957) and Skeat (1957) below].

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds



Anon, ‘A list of things taken by a Carthusian monk in 1519 from the Charter House, London, to Mount Grace Priory, Yorkshire’, The Reliquary, new series, 6 (1892), 114–15 [accessed 10 April 2014]

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry IV, 1399–1401 (London, 1903), 532 [accessed 10 April 2014]

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry V, 1413–16 (London, 1910), 355 [grant of the alien priory of Hinkeley, Leicestershire, to the prior and convent of Mount Grace; accessed 10 April 2014]

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry V, 1416–22 (London, 1911), 395 [grant of several alien priories in Norfolk and Lincolnshire to the prior and convent of Mount Grace; accessed 10 April 2014]

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward IV, 1461–67 (London, 1897), 120 [grant of the manor of Atherstone to Mount Grace], 161 [ Inspeximus and confirmation of a charter dated at Westminster, 20 March 1398/9, granting the prior and convent of Mount Grace free warren in their demesne, possession of lands in Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire, and a grant of ‘two tuns of the better red wine of Gascony yearly at Martinmas’ in the port of Kingston-upon-Hull; accessed 10 April 2014]

Caley, J and Hunter, J (eds), Valor Ecclesiasticus Tempore Henrici VIII Auctoritate Regia Institutus, vol 5 (London, 1836), 84–5 [text of the Mount Grace entry, the principal source for information on the Mount Grace estate]

Dickens, AG, The Clifford Letters of the Sixteenth Century, Surtees Society 172 (Durham, 1957), 62–74 [edited transcription of British Library, Add MS 48965 (see above), including the letters of Prior John Wilson, the last prior of Mount Grace, describing building works at the priory, 1522–3]

Skeat, TC, ‘Letters from the reign of Henry VIII’, British Museum Quarterly, 21:1 (1957), 4–8 [includes a description and part transcript of letters written by John Wilson detailing the extensive building works then in progress] [subscription required; accessed 10 April 2014]

This 'indulgence stone' at Mount Grace Priory, which explains how to obtain a pardon from time spent in purgatory
This ‘indulgence stone’, which explains how to obtain a pardon from time spent in Purgatory, was found reused in paving in one of the monks’ cells

Material Sources and collections

Monastic Collection

Part of the architectural collection (principally cell chimneys and gable stones, and the fragments of two cloister arcades) is displayed at Mount Grace Priory.

Other items from the site include small finds (from personal possessions to book fittings), fixtures and fittings, architectural ceramics including floor tiles, ceramic vessels and window glass. Further items of significance include an indulgence stone (see above) and a typecasting mould. Some book fittings and the indulgence stone, as well as some reconstructed ceramic vessels, are displayed on site.

The more fragile elements are stored at the Helmsley Archaeological Store. The entire excavation and building recording archive for the period 1968–92 is also held there, apart from a small number of items displayed at Mount Grace Priory.


Arts and Crafts Rooms

The two ground-floor rooms of the house which have been restored to Arts and Crafts style include hand-printed wallpaper based on fragments found on site. Arts and Crafts period furniture and fittings are displayed in the rooms.

Furnishings include the ‘Redcar carpet’, on loan to English Heritage, dating from 1879–81 and designed by William Morris himself. Hand-tufted at his workshop at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, London, it carries the Hammersmith trademark and is the largest Hammersmith period carpet yet discovered. There are also Morris & Co chairs as well as furniture by George Jack.


Visual Sources


Buck, S and Buck, N, ‘West view of Mount-Grace Priory near Osmotherley in Yorkshire’, 1722, Buck’s Antiquities or Venerable Remains of above four hundred Castles, Monasteries, Palaces, &c. &c. in England and Wales. With one hundred views of Cities and Chief Towns, vol 2 (London, 1774), pl. 335

Richardson, W, ‘Mount Grace Priory, exterior of the church’, engraved by G Hawkins for The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire (York, 1842)

Historic England Archive

Particularly significant items in the Historic England Archive relating to Mount Grace Priory include:

  • photographs from the collection of Canon JC Atkinson dating to about 1870–1900 (OP12520–12534)
  • a photograph of 1870–1900 by Canon Atkinson showing the site before any modern intervention (BB75/05737) (see Research on Mount Grace Priory)
  • a collection of 28 photographs showing the condition of the site when it was taken into guardianship in 1953 (AL0818).

Fuller details can be found in the Historic England Archive online catalogue. Some material is not yet listed in the online catalogue, including a large collection of aerial photography; for a full search, please contact the search team. Copies of images and documents can be ordered online or by contacting the archive. For details of current charges see the archive’s price list.


Secondary Sources

Published Works

Brown, W, ‘History of Mount Grace’, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 7 (1882), 473–94 [contains the post-Suppression history of the site based on the author’s own archive which is not referenced; accessed 10 April 2014]

Brown, W, ‘History of the priory [Mount Grace]’, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 18 (1905), 252–69 [accessed 10 April 2014]

Cook, G, Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels (London, 1947) [the foundation of a Yorkist chantry at Mount Grace]

Coppack, G, ‘La chartreuse de Mount Grace, le système hydraulique du 15e siècle: l’adduction, la distribution, et l’évacuation des eaux’, in L’hydraulique monastique, ed A Bonis and M Wabont (Grâne, 1996), 157–67

Coppack, G, ‘The contribution of the Carthusians to monastic hydraulics: the evidence from England’, in Hidráulica Monástica Medieval e Moderna, ed J de Mascarenhas, MH Abecasis and VF Jorge (Lisbon, 1996), 51–63

Coppack, G, Mount Grace Priory (English Heritage guidebook, London, 1991)

Coppack, G and Aston, M, Christ’s Poor Men: The Carthusians in England (Stroud, 2002)

Coppack, G and Douglas, M, Mount Grace Priory (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2014) [buy the guidebook]

Coppack, G and Hall, J, ‘The church of Mount Grace Priory: its development and origins’, in Studies in Carthusian Monasticism in the Late Middle Ages, ed JM Luxford, Medieval Church Studies 14 (Turnhout, 2008), 299–322 [subscription required; accessed 15 Feb 2018]

Coppack, G and Keen, LJ, Mount Grace Priory: The Excavations of 1957–92 (English Heritage, London, forthcoming)

Gribbin, JA, Aspects of Carthusian Liturgical Practice in Later Medieval England (Salzburg, 1995)

Hope, WH St John, ‘Architectural history of Mount Grace charterhouse’, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 18 (1905), 270–309 [includes the list of goods that the monk Thomas Golwynne took with him from London to Mount Grace in 1519; accessed 10 April 2014]

Knowles, D, The Religious Orders in England, vol 3: The Tudor Age (Cambridge, 1959), 238–40

Morrison, A, ‘Mount Grace Priory: the rediscovered historic interiors of the manor house’, Collections Review, 4 (English Heritage, London, 2003), 125–8

Roebuck, J, Coppack, G and Hurst, JG, ‘A closely dated group of late medieval pottery from Mount Grace Priory’, Medieval Ceramics, 11 (1987), 15–24

Thompson, EM, The Carthusian Order in England (London, 1930)

Vos, HH, ‘Archeologisch onderzoek naar het voormalig Kartuizer Klooster buiten Delft’, in De Kartuizers en hun Delftse klooster: Een bundle studiën verschenen ter gelegenheid van het achtste lustrum van het Genootschap Delfia Batavorum, ed R Rothfusz et al (Delft, 1975), 17–36

Unpublished Works

Bailey, S, et al, ‘Assessment of biological remains from excavations at Mount Grace Priory, North Yorkshire’, Environmental Archaeology Unit, York, Report 94/10 (1994)

Hartog, CMW den, ‘Nieuw Licht op de Marnixlaan: een archeologisch onderzoek naar het kartuizerklooster Nieuwlicht’, Basisrapportage Archeologie 66 (Utrecht, 2013) [accessed 15 Feb 2018]

Hoogendijk, T, ‘Kartuizerklooster Nieuwlicht: de archeologie van een Utrechts klooster’ (Zaandijk, 2012) [the references to Mount Grace are taken only from Hope’s 1905 report; accessed 4 July 2014]

Irving, B and Jones, AKG, ‘Technical report: fish remains from Mount Grace Priory, N Yorkshire’, Environmental Archaeology Unit, York, Report 94/54 (1994)

Wattenberghe, JEM, van den Bosch, JE and Dukers, BAJT, ‘Archeologische Opgraving Bethlehemstraat-Voogdijstraat, Roermond’ (SOB Research, Heinenoord, 2011) [accessed 4 July 2014]





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