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Tours > Monastic Yorkshire > Whitby Abbey

Guisborough Priory - Augustinian Canons 1119
Eight miles southeast of Middlesbrough

Guisborough PrioryGuisborough Priory was founded by the ancestors of Robert the Bruce. For generations it was their favourite place of burial and, somewhere under the neatly manicured lawns, lie the remains of the Scottish King's father and other relatives. The splendid 'Brus Cenotaph' presented by Margaret, Queen of James IV, can still be seen in the nearby parish church. Unfortunately, in later centuries, the priory suffered severely from raiding parties from the very country where the descendants of its ancient patrons ruled. First a rich and then a poor establishment, the monastery always retained its influence in the North and was a centre of unrest during the Pilgrimage of Grace.

The principle remnant on view today is the ninety-seven foot high east front. Standing almost complete, it is a stark contrast to the, almost non-existent, remains of the rest of the church and associated buildings. It was built immediately after the disastrous fire of 1289 and gives just a taste of what a masterpiece of decorated gothic architecture the abbey church must have been. It seems to have been retained as a gazebo by post-reformation owners.

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

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