TQ4109 : St Pancras Priory, Lewes - View to The Mount

taken 4 years ago, near to Lewes, East Sussex, Great Britain

St Pancras Priory, Lewes - View to The Mount
St Pancras Priory, Lewes - View to The Mount
In the foreground are some of the lower level remains of St Pancras Priory towards the east of the site. Beyond these, behind the boundary wall rises The Mount. The precise history of this mound is open to conjecture. At first sight it looks like the motte of a Motte & Bailey Castle, but it seems research suggests that it is considerably younger than this, perhaps dating from Elizabethan times when such mounds were a popular addition to formal gardens.
You can read an archaeological report on it here (pdf file): LinkExternal link
See also the shared descriptions below:

Priory of St Pancras, Lewes
The Priory of St Pancras is located to the south of the town of Lewes, the county town of East Sussex. The priory was founded soon after 1077 by William de Warenne and his wife, Gundrada, but there is evidence that it was built on an earlier Saxon site, probably also religious. The Norman priory was a Cluniac foundation, one of about 50 in Britain, of which 38 remained at the time of the Dissolution.
The Cluniacs were an offshoot of the Benedictine Order and lived by the Rule of St Benedict. The name of the order comes from their first monastery which was founded at Cluny in 910 AD by William I, Count of Auvergne.
Lewes Priory stands on the Southover ridge which in the C11th when the Priory was founded, formed the shore of the tidal Ouse estuary. This ridge runs parallel and south of a higher chalk spur on which the town of Lewes lies.
The remains of the priory are extensive though almost entirely ruinous. Its decline began with its surrender to the Crown on 16th November 1537. It was granted to Thomas Cromwell who built a substantial house here. On his execution, the entire manor was passed to Henry VIII's divorced fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. ( see LinkExternal link )
For more information about the priory's history and details of the remains, both architectural and historical see:
English Heritage Grade I listing LinkExternal link
Ancient Monument listing LinkExternal link
Wikipedia article LinkExternal link
British History Online LinkExternal link
and in particular the website of the Lewes Priory Trust LinkExternal link
Priory of St Pancras
Founded in 1077 under the sponsorship of William de Warrenne, one of William the Conqueror's trusted lieutenants, on the site of a former Saxon church dedicated to St Pancras. The boundary of the Priory followed modern day ham Lane to the east, Cockshut Road to the west, the stream known as The Cockshut to the south - most likely straightened during the construction of the Priory with a small wharf that ran into the grounds, and what is now Southover High Street, Priory Street and Mountfield Road to the north. The priory was well endowed with lands and rich enough to begin construction of a huge church which was completed by the 13th century and was said to be larger than Chichester Cathedral. During that century the priory briefly became the headquarters of Henry III's army prior to the battle of Lewes.

At dissolution only 23 monks remained and the priory had become unpopular with locals most likely aiding the strident protestantism that emerged within the town which indirectly led to its current bonfire celebrations. Having been suppressed in 1537 it was pulled down the following year with land been granted to Thomas Cromwell who built a house on part of the site that survived until that too was demolished in 1668. Much of the complex was reduced to rubble and for many years during the 16th century it became a large building material yard with much of the stonework carted off to be used in the local buildings of the towns as well as in manors such as Kingston and Hangleton near Brighton. The site was split in two by the construction of the Lewes-Brighton railway in 1846 though that work did unearth the caskets of the original founder and his wife. Since then the land north of the railway has remained in private hands will that to the south is now a public park.
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TQ4109, 499 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Sunday, 30 August, 2015   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 22 October, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Religious sites  Suburb, Urban fringe 
Ruin (from Tags)
Priory 
Place (from Tags)
Lewes 
Primary Subject of Photo
Mound 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 4156 0966 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:52.1470N 0:0.6239E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 4144 0958
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Other Tags
Ruined Cluniac Priory 

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