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Description: Watton Abbey
Date Listed: 12 February 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 167881
OS Grid Reference: TA0234449798
OS Grid Coordinates: 502344, 449798
Latitude/Longitude: 53.9342, -0.4426
WATTON CHURCH LANE
TA 04 NW (north side, off)
15/69 Watton Abbey (formerly
listed as Abbey House)
Prior's house, now dwelling,and water channel beneath. C15 with C14 range
to north with earlier origins and later additions and alterations including
house of C19. For the Gilbertine order. Pinkish-red brick in English
garden wall bond with stone dressings and limestone ashlar with purple brick
dressings and Welsh slate roof. 3-storey, 3-bay centre,of which left bay is
a 2½ storey canted window,with 4-stage octagonal turrets to angles and rear,
and with 3-storey, single-bay gable-ended range set back to left. Centre.
block: double-chamfered ashlar plinth. C19 single-storey porch to third bay
with 4-centred double plank doors within moulded ashlar surround and under
hollow-chamfered hoodmould with label stops. Above, a boarded ashlar niche
for a statue. Ashlar copings. To first bay a 5-sided ashlar canted window
has slender angle buttresses with offsets; to each side of each storey are
2-cinquefoil-light straight-headed windows within double-hollow-chamfered
surrounds and under hollow-chamfered hoodmoulds with label stops. Between
floors are arcades of 4 blind ogeed-trefoil panels to each bay. Moulded
cornice with gargoyles to angles. Decorative parapet, moulded cornice,
hipped roof. Centre bays have 2-light Perpendicular windows with quoined
and chamfered ashlar jambs under hollow-chamfered hoodmoulds, with pointed
heads to ground and first floors and with straight heads to second floor.
First-floor sill band. Embattled turrets have small lancet lights in rubbed
brick, double-chamfered surrounds to front, with outer lights oblong and
under rubbed brick hoodmoulds with label stops. Above these to left side of
left turret but still to ground floor a pair of lancets in chamfered ashlar
surround under hoodmould. First-stage band. To first and second floors of
turrets are similar pairs of twin-light lancet windows in flat-headed ashlar
surrounds under hoodmoulds, that to first floor on left turret interrupts
former opening with brick hoodmould. Some slits. Right turret has remains
of brick Lombard table. Both turrets are ornamental with purple brick
diaper patterning. Returns: to right return a 4-centred arch over stream
which marks the end of a channel with chamfered ribs to roof, (see below).
Otherwise both ground and first floors have 2-light pointed Perpendicular
windows with quoined and chamfered ashlar jambs under hollow-chamfered
hoodmoulds. To second floor 5-stepped-cinquefoil-light windows to each
return under hollow-chamfered hoodmould. Ashlar copings to gable. Left
range has angle buttresses with offsets. Similar 2-light pointed window to
ground floor. Remains of first-floor band. 5-cinquefoil-light, straight-
headed window in double-hollow-chamfered surround and under hollow-chamfered
hoodmould with shield stops. To second floor a 2-ogeed-trefoil-light window
under hoodmould interrupts chamfered cornice. Gable is recessed slightly.
Rear and side stacks. Interior. Kitchen (to left range), 2-bay undercroft
with single-chamfered ribs to groin vaults and to south-west corner the
remains of a spiral staircase. To main block a spiral staircase to south-
east turret with roll-moulded brick handrail. Otherwise main open-well,
newel, closed-string staircase c1700 with onion-on-ball balusters, newel
posts with ball finials and drop-upturned-bell finials to first-floor level.
From first to second floor an C18 open-well, newel, closed-string staircase
with slender onion-on-vase balusters. From second to third a rod
balustrade. Canted bay windows have 4-centred arches into windows with
traceried panels, that to ground floor with brattishing. To ground floor,
windows have cavetto- and ovolo-moulded surrounds and pilasters between.
Bathroom off hall has C19 lavatory and sink with floral transfer decoration,
'County Council Closet The Lateslas Washdown Closet no 177396'. Tunnel
under house runs to bridge approximately 10 metres to north of house with 4-
centred arch, inscribed and dated 'IM 1723'. Priory founded cll5O by
Eustace Fitzjohn for the Gilbertine order. Pevsner N, Yorkshire, York and
The East Riding, 1978, pp 360-1. W H St John Hope, 'The Gilbertine Priory of
Watton In The East Riding of Yorkshire, The Archaeological Journal, March
1901, Vol LVIII, No 299, pp 1-34. 'Watton Abbey, Yorkshire', Country Life,
2 November 1935, pp 458-463. P Oliver, The History of Beverley, 1829, pp
Listing NGR: TA0234149794
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.