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St Nicholas Priory, Exeter

View all images in our St Nicholas Priory Photo Gallery.

St. Nicholas Priory in Exeter was an 11th-century Benedictine monastery used as a merchant's house after the Dissolution. Only the refectory and west range survive, and these are currently being renovated for reopening as a Tudor museum.

History

Built in 1087, St. Nicholas Priory is one of the oldest buildings in the county of Devon. It housed Benedictine monks for 500 years until it was closed in 1536 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

After the Dissolution, the church and chapter house were demolished, leaving only the west range and refectory. These were converted into a Tudor mansion that housed important figures in the cloth trade. In the mid-18th century, the Priory was the home of Nathaniel Cosserat, a skilled craftsman and Huguenot refugee from France.

By Victorian times, the house was split into several tenements and became delapidated. It was threatened with demolition, but it was purchased by the Exeter City Council in 1913.

After being extensively restored, the Priory was opened as a museum. As of July 2007, it is once again closed for renovations and will reopen as a museum of Tudor life.

What to See

The main building seen in the photos at right is the West Range, which includes a cellar below and a hall for guests above. Across Mint Lane is the old Refectory.

Quick Facts on St Nicholas Priory

Site Information
Names:St. Nicholas Priory; St. Nicholas Priory, Exeter
City:Exeter
State:Devon
Country:England
Categories:Monasteries
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic; Benedictine
Styles:Romanesque
Dates:1087
Status:museum
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Exeter, England
Coordinates:50.721818° N, 3.534991° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of St Nicholas Priory

Below is a location map and aerial view of St Nicholas Priory. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Personal visit (exterior only; July 21, 2007)
  2. The Rough Guide to England, 7th ed. (May 2006), 429.
  3. Exeter Woolen Trail sign at the site.

More Information

Article Info

Title:St Nicholas Priory, Exeter
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:08/20/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/england/exeter-st-nicholas-priory/england/exeter-st-nicholas-priory
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