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Leez Priory, Great and Little Leighs

Description: Leez Priory

Grade: I
Date Listed: 29 December 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 112643

OS Grid Reference: TL7007518526
OS Grid Coordinates: 570075, 218526
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8394, 0.4673

Location: Causeway, Felsted, Essex CM3 1JP

Locality: Great and Little Leighs
Local Authority: Chelmsford City Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: CM3 1JP

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Listing Text

5213 LEIGHS ------------
Leez Priory
TL 71 NW 2/148 29.12.52.


The other part of the Leez Priory lies within the boundaries of the Parish of
Felstead in the District of Uttlesford. The present buildings are the remaining
portions of the great house of 2 quadrangles built by the 1st Lord Rich soon after
1336 when the priory of the Augustinian Canons, founded in the early C13, was
dissolved and the buildings razed to the ground, the house was built partly on
the foundations of the priory. The foundations of the monastic buildings lie
to the east of the present buildings and the material from the priory was largely used by Lord Rich for the construction of his inner quadrangle and this in turn
as destroyed when much of his house was demolished in 1753. Excavation has uncovered
these foundations together with the monastic ones, in particular those of the
church (over which Lord Rich built his great hall). The bases of the piers of
the crossing tower being the chief evidence. The foundations lie exposed in the
present gardens east of the Inner Gatehouse.
Lord Rich's House Of this house there remains standing the Inner Gatehouse, the
Cuter Gatehouse and part of the south and west sides of the outer quadrangle (now
the present dwelling house built in red brick with some blue brick diapering and
some stone dressings, the roofs are tiled. The Inner Gatehouse stands on the
west side of the inner quadrangle which contained the main living quarters. The
Outer Gatehouse stands at right angles to the axis of the Inner Gatehouse on the
south side of the Outer quardrangle.
The Outer Gatehouse.
This stands at the west end of the south side of the outer quadrangle and is of
simpler design. It has 2 storeys and an octagonal turret at each angle. The tower
and turrets have an embattled parapet. The 2 Outer turrets are panelled and have
trefoiled corbelling similar to that of the Inner Gatehouse. Between the turrets
is a room with a square headed 3-light mullioned and transomed window with original
double doors, panelled and nail studded. The inner archway had the original double
doors from the Inner Gatehouse, with traceried heads, now partly glazed.
The South Range of the Outer Quadrangle. This extends to the east and west of the Outer Gatehouse and has been considerably
restored especially on the west side (1913). It is 2 storeys with an embattled
parapet on the south side. There are a number of square headed mullioned and
transomed windows, some of them original. On the east side of the Outer Gatehouse
the range has at each end an external original chimney stack with twin shafts
set diagonally. The north, or inner, side of this range is much simpler and has
no battlemenmting and most of the 2-light windows are original. The interior has
been considerably restored and altered. In tile west side the dining room has
linenfold panelling said to have been taken from the gatehouse, exposed ceiling
beams and walls of exposed brickwork.
The West range of the Outer Quadrangle.
The gablecross wing which now terminates the north end of the range was originally
the centre feature. It is 2 storeys. On the east face there is the remains of
a large archway and traces of an opening in the west face. There are a number
of original windows, some blocked and others restored. The interior has been
considerbly altered. (RCHM 2 Lt Leighs).

Leez Priory, The Inner Gatehouse at Leez Priory, Conduit in the Inner Quadrangle
Leez Priory, Two Barns at Leez Priory Farm with the Fishing hut, Leez Priory and the
walls to the kitchen garden, Leez Priory (outside the boundry) form a group.

Listing NGR: TL7007518526

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.