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Brinkburn Priory

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Brinkburne; Brekenburne

In the civil parish of Brinkburn.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ116983
Latitude 55.27891° Longitude -1.81889°

Brinkburn Priory has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are masonry footings remains.

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


Although only the church and part of the south cloister range survive as upstanding remains, Brinkburn Priory is an important example of a small Augustinian priory. The medieval fabric of the church is exceptionally well-preserved and provides a good illustration of the late 12th century Transitional style of architecture, while the buried remains of additional buildings and features survive beyond the cloister ranges and include the priory mill and gateway. The remains also retain useful evidence of the transition from medieval monastery to post-medieval house.
Evidence of the history of the priory comes from the Brinkburn cartulary or collection of charters, and, from these, it can be seen that the house was never wealthy and that its poverty was exacerbated by the Scottish wars of the 14th century. In 1419 the priory was raided and robbed of its valuables. It never recovered its losses and, in 1535, was among the minor monastic houses dissolved by the first Act of Suppression. (Scheduling Report)

Although it had no tower, the priory did have some strongly made buildigns which may have been used as refuges. (Dodds 1999).

The Priory is sited on the end of a sharp meander of the River Coquet, the nature of which give the Priory the required spiritual isolation. There is no suggestion of a precinct wall or gatehouse and the Priory is quite notable in lacking these features.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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