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Bridlington Priory

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Bayle Gate; Bridlyngton

In the civil parish of Bridlington.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of East Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 county of Humberside.
Medieval County of Yorkshire East Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: TA17696796
Latitude 54.09354° Longitude -0.20360°

Bridlington Priory has been described as a certain Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The Priory of Augustinian Canons, at Bridlington, was founded before 1113-4, and dissolved in 1537. This was one of the largest houses of the order, and there appear to have been a number of lay brothers until the fourteenth century. In 1380 the house contained the prior, twenty-four canons, and only one lay-brother. The last prior, William Wode, was executed in 1537 after the Pilgrimage of Grace, and it is said that there were then twenty-six canons who were expelled through the attainder. (PastScape)

The Priory was taken by William de Gros, Count of Aumale in 1143, and fortified in some form against the forces of the Empress. The present remains exhibit no indication of former fortification, and the works remain obscure. (Creighton 1998)

in 1143 the earl of York, 'troubled by the hostility of Ranulf earl of Chester and Gilbert of Gant converted the monastery of St Mary of Bridlington into a castle' (Dalton 1994 citing Symeon Opera )

Wilelmus Albemarlensis qui exclusis regularibus clericis ecclesiam invasit et polluit Brelintoniensem. (William of Newburgh)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1388 May 17 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


The priory was granted a licence to crenellate in 1388, by King Richard II. The actual licence, a rare survival, is on display in the Bayle gate. The large vehicular archway of The Bayle was the priory's main entrance and the interior passage gives access to small wings, both with a garderobe, one being the porter's lodge and the other a prison. Accessed by spiral stairs, is a large first floor chamber, used as the Court of the Priors and although altered and repaired in brick during C17, the gate, still retains its original form and arrangement. The gate dates to the C12 and some speculation is given to it being associated with William le Gros. It was altered to the latest fashion in the early C14 and the large upper chamber was added about the time of the licence to crenellate. In its current form it is not crenellated and no old illustrations show it with crenellations. The nave of the Priory church survives as the parish church. The shire of St John of Bridlington, the last English saint created before the reformation, is long lost. The licence to crenellate was probably associated with the prolonged canonisation process for St John and the creation of a pilgrimage shrine at Bridlington.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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