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Monmouth Priory

A Grade II* Listed Building in Monmouth, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8135 / 51°48'48"N

Longitude: -2.7141 / 2°42'50"W

OS Eastings: 350868

OS Northings: 213008

OS Grid: SO508130

Mapcode National: GBR FL.WTN8

Mapcode Global: VH86T.XP03

Entry Name: Monmouth Priory

Listing Date: 27 June 1952

Last Amended: 20 July 2006

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2323

Building Class: Education

Location: Part of the group on the principal street leading north and east from the town square.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Monmouth

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

History

Originally of late C15 date and built as part of the Prior's Lodging of the adjacent Monmouth Priory, but it was
very largely rebuilt in the mid/late C19 incorporating medieval stonework and features. It is difficult to say visually how much it was rebuilt in the C19, however, and it may be that more medieval fabric survives in situ than is realised. For instance the stone on the ground floor to either side of the oriel does appear to be undisturbed, while the upper floor, while wholly rebuilt does appear to use some medieval material. The Priory was dissolved in 1536 and the buildings became a house. It was a private school in 1768, a charity school from 1805 and became Monmouth National School in 1814; Priory Street Boy's School from 1896 to 1973. It became a Youth Hostel in 1978. Drawings made before it was rebuilt show a four bay range with the oriel window on the left end and with the projecting wing on the right. It was reconstructed with a new roof-line in 1856 by Prichard and Seddon, the Llandaff Diocesan architects; with more work done by Seddon in 1870 and 1884, though it is difficult to determine what was done at the different times. G E Halliday, also Diocesan architect, then added to the building in 1906 and this work must be that at the rear of the main range with the first floor gables. The building has been externally little altered since and is now a community centre, which involved considerable internal change in 2002, designed by Keith Murray (of Murray Maguire architects).

Exterior

Built of red sandstone ashlar with red tile roofs. The plan has a main range parallel with the street and wings both before and behind; in an overall C15 Gothic style. Two storey main range with lower two storey wings and an additional single storey rear wing. The main range incorporates quite a lot of medieval fabric and features. Five bay elevation from the left. The first bay, which was added in 1856, has a 4-centred headed doorway with dripmould and, above it a 2-light window with dripmould. The second bay projects with corner buttresses with offsets and has the important survival on the first floor of a fine unaltered oriel window, generally known as Geoffrey of Monmouth's window. This has six lights, with mullions, and transoms with cusping and arcaded aprons. Three corbel heads beneath which are above a 2-light window with cusped heads. This window is probably a reused medieval one but the 1815 drawing shows an archway which may indicate that this range was the Priory Gatehouse, and the stonework on either side does appear to be little disturbed. Above the oriel window is a cornice and a battlemented parapet; previous to reconstruction this had a gable running back from it. Bays 3 and 5 have tall 2-light two transom windows on the ground floor with a 2-light window above as before; bay 4 has a 3-light two transom window on the ground floor. Two of the window heads on the right are reused medieval ones. Steeply pitched roof with a tall lateral stack on the front wall at right where the wing projects. This stack is shown in position on the drawing of 1815, but it now has four tall brick octagonal shafts. The projecting wing is in two bays with a 2-light window on either floor to left and a single light window on the ground floor only to right. The gable end to the street has two single light windows to the ground floor and a large two flue stack projecting above. Two light window on the upper floor of the return gable on the wing. Left return of the main
range is gabled and partly obscured by a later building; 2-light window on the first floor and single light one on the gable; coped gable with kneelers. The right return gable is obscured by a lean-to with a 2-light window facing to the rear, single light window in the gable.
The rear elevation of the main range is obscured on the ground floor by a 4-bay flat roofed extension with 3-light mullion-and-transom windows, one partly converted to a door. To the left of this is a doorway into the main range and above it the first floor has six gabled bays. All except bay 3 have tall 2-light mullion-and-transom windows; bay 3 has a single light window and a large stack rising beside it.
To the right is a projecting caretaker's house with a tall industrial stack where it joins with the main range. The wing is two storeyed with a catslide addition to the right of the gable. Two timber mullion-and-transom windows on the gable end and a small stack on the gable above.

Interior

Open plan interior since the restoration of 2002 which gave it a large space on either floor.

Reasons for Listing

Included in a higher grade for the exceptional interest of the medieval portion with its fine oriel window and carved detail.

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