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David Ford, History EditorTours > Coquetdale > Brinkburn Priory

Brinkburn Priory
Three miles south-east of Rothbury

Brinkburn Priory
Founded in about 1132 as St. Peter & St. Paul's Priory of Augustinian Canons, Brinkburn was never a very rich monastic establishment. As such, little is known of its history, though it did suffer continually from attacks by Scottish raiding parties. As late as 1419, it was robbed of all its charters, muniments, plate and vestments. When dissolved in 1536, it was worth only 69.

The priory church remained in use by the parish throughout the 16th century, but by 1602 it had fallen into a state of considerable decay. It wasn't until 1858, that its then owner, Cadogan Hodgson Cadogan, had the whole place restored after 250 years in ruins. Today it stands complete beside the Coquet river, as a fine example of northern transitional architecture. The interior is open and lofty and decorated with disturbing modern sculptures by Fenwick Lawson.

Alongside is Brinkburn House, created in out of the monastic refectory soon after the Dissolution. The present building dates mostly from 1810, but traces of the original have been uncovered in the main hall-way. It has not been occupied since 1952 and is undergoing an extensive restoration programme by English Heritage.

The site is run by English Heritage. There is an entry fee, though Free admission to members.

Next Stop: Longhorsley Tower

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