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St Augustines Priory (Medieval Buildings), Bilsington

Description: St Augustines Priory (Medieval Buildings)

Grade: I
Date Listed: 13 October 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 181660

OS Grid Reference: TR0434135525
OS Grid Coordinates: 604341, 135525
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0826, 0.9161

Location: Bilsington, Kent TN25 7AU

Locality: Bilsington
Local Authority: Ashford Borough Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: TN25 7AU

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There is also a scheduled monument, Bilsington Priory, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Bilsington, Kent at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

(east side)
3/75 St. Augustine's
Priory (Medieval
buildings) (formerly
13.10.52 listed as The Priory)
Monastic remains, sometime house. Founded 1253, restored 1906 by
J.T. Micklethwaite, Architect, for R.H. Balston. Ragstone with plain
tiled roof. First floor hall connected by 3 storey tower to 3 storeyed
cross-wing. The hall range with corner buttresses and string course
and C20 plate traceried windows with 1 (genuine?) lancet in gable end.
The north elevation with cill cornice to 1st floor, raised to centre,
with blocked doorways to left and to right (with four centred arch)
and corbel heads. The foundations of cloisters projecting from this
elevation have been traced. Tower in 2 stages externally with small
corner buttresses with restored square headed doorway and shouldered
lights. Shallow south eastern angle vice. Hipped roof with gablets
and stack. Three storey cross-wing, with low angle buttress, and
hipped roof with gablets. Small squared lights. Entry by depressed
arched and chamfered doorway to undercroft of main hall in wooden porch.
Interior: plain undercroft, C20 wooden turned baluster stair to main
hall, the internal reveals of the windows brought down as seats, only
the western window possibly original. Blocked chamfered arched door-
ways on northern face and to right of western window on west wall.
Remains embedded at south end of moulded main beams of screens passage/
gallery. Restored roof of 3 crown posts on moulded tie beams and wall
plate. Spiral staircase full height in tower block with chamfered arched
doorways to hall and each floor of chamber block. Tower chamber with
simple chamfered fireplaces and moulded cross-beamed roof. Chamber
cross-wing with short moulded crown post to upper room, possibly
originally a double height chamber with inserted 1st floor ceiling.
Tower roof with 3 massively braced tie beams and scissor-braced
rafters. The function of the surviving buildings has never been fully
established, probably the Infirmary hall, possibly the Refectory with
Prior's Lodgings attached. The Priory, of Augustinian Canons was
founded 1253 by Sir John Mansell (Lord Chief Justics, Lord Warden of
the Cinque Ports, etc.). Dissolved 1536, and used as a Farmhouse,
becoming progressively more ruinous until restoration 1906. Foundations
and remains of cloisters to north, the church (of St. Mary the Virgin
and St. Nicholas) beyond that and further still the Gate House and Holy
Well, as well as 3 fishponds (1 a moat to the south-west). The plan
has affinities with the premonstratensian priory at East Langdon,
Kent. Used as a storage base by smuggling gangs, particularly the
Ransley gang e.C19. (See printed Guide; B.O.E. Kent I, 171-2; Arch.
Cant. XXVII; Igglesden, VII, 1906).

Listing NGR: TR0434135525

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.