Alberbury Priory (white Abbey)
- HER Number (PRN): 13192
- Site Name : Alberbury Priory (white Abbey)
- Protected Status:
Grade: II* Ref No.: 1366885 Title: WHITE ABBEY AND SECTION OF WALL ADJOINING TO EAST Type: Listed Building
- Civil Parish:
- Grid Reference: SJ 3754 1522
- Related People:
Forename Surname Role Fulk Fitz Warin Architect
- Brief Description: Remains of a Grandmontine Priory, now a farmhouse. Circa 1225, converted into a house in c. 1578 and remodelled in 1857-8. It is protected by Grade II* Listing.
- Description: Grandmontine Priory, remains of, now farmhouse. Circa 1225, converted into a house in c. 1578 and remodelled in 1857-8.
Coursed Alberbury breccia and red sandstone rubble, C19 red brick; C13 red sandstone dressings and C19 grey sandstone dressings; plain tile roof, with 2 parallel gabled wings at rear.
The priory consisted of nave and square ended choir with the former chapel of St Stephen of 3 bays to the north and the cloisters to the south; the farmhouse incorporates the central section of the church (minus the east and west ends) and the former chapel of St Stephen; C19 remodelling in a Tudor Gothic style.
2 storeys and attic. Chamfered plinth to north and centre of south front, and parapeted gables with chamfered copings and shaped kneelers; two C19 brick ridge stacks to rear, one with 4 square shafts and one with single shaft.
West (entrance) front: 3 windows; C19 wooden cross-windows with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds; 1:2:1 canted bay window to right with chamfered stone mullions and plain tile roof; former west doorway to chapel of St Stephen to left with continuous roll moulding and inserted early C19 two-light window with Y-tracery; central 6-panelled door has fanlight with Y-tracery, moulded pointed arch with quatrefoil and mouchette panels in spandrels and returned square hoodmould. Blocked first-floor slit window to internal newel stair at left. The left-hand part of this front is the former west front of the Chapel of St Stephen and the right-hand part is a section through the nave of the former priory church (see straight joints).
South (garden) front: 1:2 windows; C19 wooden cross-casements with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds, one-light attic window in gable to left; probable rear-arch to former sacristy door at right, has inserted late C18 or early C19 glazing bar sash with intersecting Gothic tracery; former doorway to cloister at left has one order of shafts with stiff-leaf capitals (shafts missing), moulded reveals, triple moulded arch and chamfered inner arch with inserted C19 two-light Gothic window.
North front: north side of former chapel; 3 buttresses with chamfered offsets; projecting 2-storey stair tower to right with rounded squinch over angle to left; blocked east window of chapel has one order of shafts with moulded bases and capitals (shafts missing), chamfered reveals and moulded arch. Short piece of rubblestone walling adjoining south front to east is part of the south wall of the former east end of the church; it has some later brick patching and some reused stones (see part of moulded arch).
Interior: former Chapel of St Stephen: quadripartite stone vaulting with chamfered ribs springing from shafts with moulded capitals (some shafts missing), carved bosses (that to east with the Agnus Dei, that in the centre with a man's head, and that to west with a man devoured by a winged monster); former east window has nook shafts with moulded capitals, and straight-sided chamfered rear arch; former double piscina with moulded trefoiled-arch and chamfered cill; former south doorway (into nave) has continuously-moulded arch and returned hoodmould; north-east newel stair, probably formerly leading to the space above the vaulting, now to the attic; former chapel with inserted stack and ceiling with chamfered beams, probably of c. 1578.
Founded by Fulk Fitz Warin III as a house of Arrouaisian Canons and begun between 1221 and 1226. Alberbury Priory was eventually transferred to the Grandmontine Order and became one of only 3 in the country, dependant on the Abbey of Grandmontine in Limousin, France. Along with other alien priories during the French wars Alberbury was seized by Edward III in 1337. The surviving chantries were eventually suppressed in 1547. The remains of the priory stand in a large moated site by the River Severn. No other buildings survive. The site of the church was excavated in 1925.
VCH, Vol II, pp47-50 and Vol VIII, pp198, 200, 206, and 213-4;
Buildings of England, p55;
Trans. Salop. Arch. Soc., 4th series, Vol. XI (1928);
Archaeologia, Vol. 75 (1926);
Colin Platt, The Abbeys and Priories of Medieval England (1984), pp24-5 <8>
Photographed during aerial survey in 2007 and 2010. The monastic precinct boundary is particularly evident on photographs taken in 2010. <13>-<16>
Work probably began between 1221 and 1226 and excavations in 1925 revealed a simple recatangular church with an aisleless nave, a square-ended chancel, and overall dimensions of approx 109x22ft. Grandmontine houses ran very strictly to pattern and the deviations at Alberbury - square ended chancel and unvaulted nave - suggest that the church was built before the transfer to Grandmont. The S doorway from the church to the cloister, part of an unvaulted nave, and 3 vaulted bays of a chapel to the N are the only standing remains. The stiff-leaf capitals of the shafts flanking the doorway and the broad ribs of the vaulting, with heavy bosses at the intersections, confirm the date which the documents propose.->
->At the former priory, the main range had a stack with twin shafts linked by decorative cross pieces, while an apparantly contemporary stack serving a minor wing had a shaft with a simple rib up each side.<17>
- Record Type: Building
(00) Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 13192. (01) Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31NE6. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ31NE6. (02) Article in serial: Graham, Rose. 1927/ 1928. Alberbury Priory. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Ser 4, Vol 11. 257-303. (03) Monograph: Knowles D & Hadcock N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. p108,137,145,419,466. (04) Volume: Gaydon A T (ed). 1973. Victoria County History 2: Ecclesiastical Organisation, Religious Houses, Schools and Sports. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 2. p47-50. (05) Volume: Gaydon A T (ed). 1968. Victoria County History 8: Condover and Ford Hundreds. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 8. pp198, 200, 206, and 213-4. (06) List of Buildings: Ministry of Housing and Local Government. 1949/ 1973. Provisional List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Atcham Rural District). Provisional List. p3. (07) Photograph: Ryan Carole. 1979-Apr-27. Two Polaroid Photos - Nand E elevation of Chapel and S and W Elevations of House. Black and white. 35mm. (08) List of Buildings: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1986-Mar-18. 41st List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Vol 1101-0. List volume. p8-9. (09) Monograph: Pevsner Nikolaus. 1958. Buildings of England (Shropshire). Buildings of England. p 55. (10) Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1985-Jul-07. CPAT 85/09/0007 to 0010 (4 photos). (11) Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1995-Feb-26. CPAT 95/MB/0149 to to 0150 (2 photos). Black and white. Medium. (12) Monograph: Newman J & Pevsner N. 2006. Buildings of England: Shropshire. Buildings of England. p105. (13) Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Aug-8. SA0706_014 to SA0706_015 (2 photos) Flight: 07_SA_06. Colour. Digital. (14) Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Aug-8. SA0706_082 to SA0706_084 (3 photos) Flight: 07_SA_06. Colour. Digital. (15) Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2010-Jul-5. SA1008_013 to SA1008_015 (3 photos) Flight: 10_SA_08. Colour. Digital. (16) Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2010-Jul-18. SA1010_222 to SA1010_229 (8 photos) Flight: 10_SA_10. Colour. Digital. (17) Monograph: Mercer Eric. 2003. English Architecture to 1900: The Shropshire Experience. pp.37, 159.
- Related Places:
- For more information contact: Shropshire Council HER
- Date Last Edited: 02/10/2018 10:45:34