About this image
South East View. The Priory was founded on March 3rd 1103. An initial grant of monies and lands was made which founded the great Priory by the De Lovetot Lords of the Manor. The Canons of St Augustine were to establish Worksop Priory for the worship of God and the service of the local community and was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Cuthbert. At one time the Priory had extensive outbuildings for the Canons. On the north side of the great church were the cloisters and living accommodation, all built in fine stone. The River Ryton served to bring water first to the Priory Mill on the Canch, then to the kitchens, (where the church hall now stands). It then flushed away the kitchen and domestic waste before being dammed to provide fish ponds on what is now Bracebridge. There were farm buildings, barns and stores, splendid rooms for the Prior, a place for writing and a library. The gatehouse, a Tudor addition to the Priory, is considered to be 'one of the most interesting buildings in the county,' which features pre-reformation statuary, a wide late perpendicular tracery window and an unusual projecting wayside shrine to house an image of the Virgin. On November 15th 1539, the King's Commissioner for the dissolution of the Monasteries demanded entry to the Priory at the Gatehouse. He had brought the order for closure. The Prior, William Stokes and sixteen Canons were to be pensioned off. Over two thousand acres of land, the buildings and the treasures were to be seized by the Crown. All the fine buildings were to be dismantled. The townspeople were determined that at least part of the church should remain and eventually, they were allowed to keep the nave as the parish church, and the Gatehouse as the vicarage. (Later this was to become the first elementary school in England). After 1847 and well into the 20th century the priory church was gradually restored in a Romanesque style. In 1894 the road outside the gatehouse was diverted and in 1896 the cross at this point was moved.