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Description: The Priory Church
Date Listed: 21 October 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 236739
OS Grid Reference: NZ1159398324
OS Grid Coordinates: 411593, 598324
Latitude/Longitude: 55.2789, -1.8190
There is also a scheduled monument, Brinkburn Priory Augustinian Priory, Mill, Gateway and Post-Dissolution House, 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.
BRINKBURN BRINKBURN PRIORY
NZ 19 NW
10/70 The Priory Church
21.10.53 (formerly listed as
Brinkburn Priory Church)
Church of Augustinian Priory, c.1190-1220; fell into ruins in C17 but
conservatively restored 1858-59 by Thomas Austin of Newcastle for Cadogan
Hodgson Cadogan. Squared stone with cut dressings; roof of small red clay
tiles. Cruciform plan; nave with north aisle of 6 narrow bays, low crossing
tower, transepts with 2-bay eastern aisles and 2-bay aisleless presbytery;
some ruins of the chapter house vestibule or slype adjoin the south transept.
Nave: Main north entrance in 2nd bay from west: round arch of 3 orders with
beakheads, chevron, zigzag and billet hood; carved capitals to jamb shafts;
large dog-tooth to jambs and to outer angles of gabled projection holding
doorway with arcade of 3 trefoiled arches above. Aisle wall has chamfered
plinth, pilaster buttresses and broad lancet windows. Tall round-headed
clerestorey windows. West end: nave north-west turret with shafted angles
and pyramidal cap; the south-west turret which had fallen before the restoration,
rebuilt to eaves level only. Wall arcade of pointed arches below a similar
but taller arcade incorporating 3 tall lancets; jambs shafts missing; 3
stepped lancets in the gable. South nave wall arcade of trefoiled arches
between the 2 processional doors under C19 pent tiled canopies: western door
has moulded round arch on shafted jambs with dogtooth, all much renewed;
eastern door has moulded and ornamented arch with tegulated hood and carved
capitals to former jamb shafts. Above is rebate for timbers of cloister walk
roof, and 5 tall round-headed windows. South transept: west wall has round-
arched moulded doorway with waterleaf capitals to former jamb shafts, and twin
rebated book lockers, with 2 tall round-headed windows above; south wall has
clasping buttresses, blocked door to right stair and C19 Romanesque wheel
window in gable; attached transverse arch and fragments of side walls of
formerly-vaulted east-west chamber; east wall has lancets to aisle and round-
arched clerestorey. In angle of south transept and presbytery, above aisle
roof, is small statue in C16 canopied niche. North transept has similar east
elevation; north wall has central projecting stair turret with small loops,
flanked by lancets with round-headed windows above; turret is capped by gabled
late C19 bellcote with cusped bargeboards. North end of aisle has small C14
trefoiled ogee window. Presbytery has lancets with round-headed windows above
in side walls,with strings at sill levels; 3 tiers of lancets, the uppermost
stepped, in east end, divided by buttresses which pass from square to semi-
octagonal to keeled section as they rise; C19 finial cross. All parts of
the church have a C19 eaves,cornice on moulded corbels. The central tower
rises little above the roof ridges, and has a plain parapet.
Interior: Nave arcade of double-chamfered pointed arches with chamfered hoods,
on octagonal piers with moulded caps; tympanum openings, above piers, of twin
moulded round arches. Chamfered string between arcade and tympanum, moulded
string between tympanum and clerestorey. Aisle has moulded springers for
vault, never completed. Crossing has tall moulded pointed arches on shafted
jambs. Transepts show similar detail to nave; aisles, each formerly a pair of
chapels, have quadripartite vaults with chamfered ribs; piscina in southernmost
chapel. Presbytery has string courses at sill levels and double-arched recess
with piscina on south; blocked shoulder-arched door to former sacristy on
north. C19 arch-braced collarbeam roofs.
The only medieval monuments are a fine cross slab with an inscription to Prior
William, a suffragan Bishop of Durham, d.1484, and a few plain slabs; several
C17 and C18 ledger stones. Pink marble slab to Cadogan Hodgson Cadogan d.1888,
the restorer, in centre of presbytery. C19 tiled floors throughout. Stained
glass: grisaille window, south of presbytery, by Austin incorporating fragments
of original glass; other windows by Wailes and (east end) Clayton and Bell.
Romanesque carved stone altar of 1898; late C19 choir stalls; panelled wood
pulpit on stone base, dated 1874. 1868 organ by William Hill. Plain medieval
font in presbytery.
A.B.E. Clark 'Brinkburn Priory' (D.0.E. guide) l982.
Listing NGR: NZ1159398322
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.