North York Moors CAM

Thursday 6th April 2000

Guisborough & the Priory


Guisborough - aerial view

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.


Guisborough Priory

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.

An outstanding 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.


Guisborough Priory Guisborough Priory

More photos of the Priory ruins . . .


Guisborough Priory

. . . and immaculate and peaceful grounds.


St Nocholas Church & War Memorial

Just yards away from the Priory grounds is the parish church of St Nicholas and the War Memorial


Market Cross & Belmangate

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 . . .


Guisborough Market Guisborough Market

. . . today's bustling market


Prior Pursglove College

This is where I spent some of the best days of my life - Guisborough Grammar School (now Prior Pursglove College)


Gisborough Hall

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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