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 of St. Nicholas Priory
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 at St. Nicholas Priory
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
|Names:||St. Nicholas Priory|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||50.721818° N, 3.534991° W|
|Phone:||01392 665 858|
|Hours:||Closed for renovation as of writing (July 2007).|
|Lodging:||View hotels near St. Nicholas Priory|
- Personal visit (exterior only; July 21, 2007)
- The Rough Guide to England, 7th ed. (May 2006), 429.
- Exeter Woolen Trail sign at the site.
Map of St. Nicholas Priory, Exeter
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.