North York Moors CAM
Thursday 6th April 2000
Guisborough & the Priory
Aerial photograph of Guisborough taken c.1982
Guisborough is a market town of great antiquity, enlarged in the last century by the ironstone industry, and recently by intensive housing development.
On the above
photograph, Guisborough Priory can clearly be seen (top right),
Westgate is the road running from the bottom left towards the
Priory - it becomes the main shopping street as it nears the
Priory, and on Thursdays and Saturdays, a busy market is held on
the cobble stones either side of the road .
A recently constructed by-pass has eased the amount of traffic on the A171 which used to cause long 'bottle-necks' as it crawled through the centre of Guisborough on its way from Teesside to the moor road and on to Whitby and Scarborough.
The glory of Guisborough is the solitary but magnificent east end of the church of the Augustinian Priory of St Mary founded in 1119 by Robert De Brus.
example of Gothic architecture, the ruins are a reminder of what
was once a very wealthy medieval monastery - it became one of the
most powerful in Yorkshire and dominated the life and fortune of
both the town and the surrounding countryside in the Middle Ages.
On 16th May, 1289, disaster struck when the church was completely destroyed by fire consuming books, plate and vestments - evidential scorch marks from the blaze can still be seen on the paving between the pillars. The fortunes of the priory recovered enough to be able to rebuild the church in even greater magnificence.
The grounds are
open to the public at a cost of only £1 for adults -
immaculately maintained, the ruins and surrounding lawns offer
peace and tranquility only yards away from the bustling town
centre - you can even take in a picnic.
I highly recommend a visit to anyone in the area.
More photos of the Priory ruins . . .
. . . and immaculate and peaceful grounds.
Just yards away from the Priory grounds is the parish church of St Nicholas and the War Memorial
Between Westgate and Church Street lies the Georgian designed Market Cross seen here as we look south down Belmangate with Guisborough Moor on the distant horizon
Westgate is Guisborough's main shopping street and the site of . . .
. . . today's bustling market
This is where I spent some of the best days of my life - Guisborough Grammar School (now Prior Pursglove College)
Finally, as seen from the roadside of the A171 heading out towards Whitby - Gisborough Hall built by Admiral Chaloner in 1857
more information on Guisborough
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