Monument record BLB 001 - Blythburgh Priory (Med)

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Summary

Scheduled Monument - Remains of Blythburgh Priory.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 452 753 (167m by 90m)
Map sheet TM47NE
Civil Parish BLYTHBURGH, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Remains of Blythburgh Priory.
Small Augustinian priory founded circa 1125 as a dependency of St Osyth's, Essex with 3 canons. They increased to possibly six but numbered four at the Priory's dissolution in 1537. See (R4) for charter information.
In 1850 the ruins of what appeared to be a cross-aisled building were robbed of material to repair roads etc.
Building well known from C18 and C19 engravings. All that now remains upstanding are parts of the crossing and a length of nave wall, up to 12 feet high, largely casework and flint but some earlier survives. The claustral buildings were on the S side now under ornamental gardens. Remains have also been found in the ploughed field to the N. Sherds of Ipswich ware have also come from the vicinity (S1).
Circa 1950: (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s) approx - inhumation/s found (& reburied) during burial of pet dog in Priory Lodge garden.
1964: C14-C15 pitcher from(see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s) now in Ipswich Museum (S4).
1977: walls of flint heavily covered with ivy. Considerable burrowing of rabbits close to foundations beginning to undermine. Several carved moulded stone pieces incorporated in garden wall. Heavy scatter of flint noted in field to N (S2).
1977: (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s) two inhumations dug up at (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s). Two graves circa 80cm below surface, cut into gravelley sand. Appears that inhumation A was cut through by B, graves on slightly different alignments with B circa 10 degrees N of A : A - arms crossed over stomach, left tibia, fibula and foot missing (disturbed by B) while right tibia, fibula and foot probably removed during digging by (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s). 120cm skull to knee.
B - arms by side, head and shoulders missing, removed by (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s). 150cm toe to shoulder.
Assume these are inhumations associated with priory (which is circa 70m W). Visitor to the site said other graves had been found when the railway was built (see BLB Misc, MSF12166). Sketch - see site report (S2).
1981: Walls of flint heavily covered with ivy. Considerable burrowing of rabbits close to foundations beginning to undermine. Several carved moulded stone pieces incorporated in garden wall. Heavy scatter of flint noted in field to N (S1).
1999-2000: (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s) - human bone fragments found in garden of The Green, Priory Road. Details in (S3). Area of site revised to include these finds.
2005?: further human bones found in vegetable garden to rear of (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s) - circa (see 'Not to be published on web' tab for finder/s and/or findspot/s) approx (area of site enlarged accordingly - May 2005)(S5).
Also Sax.
2008: Magnetometer, resistivity and ground penetrating radar survey were undertaken in conjunction with Time Team investigations at the site. Magnetic survey to the N of the priory remains revealed a number of large pit-like responses, along with a possible former monastic boundary. Interpretation of the resistance data proved diffucult as a result of topography and landscaping, but some high resistance features may indicate possible rubble spreads and features which may be associated with the priory nave and cloister. The GPR data also proved difficult to interpret, however it was possible to identify the eastern continuation of the nave and other priory buildings (S6).

Sources/Archives (14)

  • --- Unpublished document: Boulter S. 2012. Archaeological Excavation Report, Blythburgh Priory, Blythburgh.
  • <M1> (No record type): SAM file:.
  • <R1> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM47NE2.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: DOE scheduling information.
  • <S2> (No record type): SAU (Carr R D), site report, 3 October 1977 (ill).
  • <M2> (No record type): Photographs: AHK 01 02 (skeletons), AOL 01 02 (abbey building).
  • <R2> Bibliographic reference: Victoria County History of Suffolk (Vol I 1911; Vol II 1907). VCH, Suffolk, 2, 1907, 91.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Finds Report. SAU, Plouviez J, Finds Report, February 2000.
  • <R3> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 23, 1972, (3), 276-278.
  • <M3> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: SAU (RDC), site report 3 October 1977.
  • <S4> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Archaeology in Suffolk 1964, 30, 1964, 117.
  • <R4> Bibliographic reference: Harper-Bill, C. (ed). 1980-1981. Blythburgh Priory Cartulary. 2 vols.
  • <S5> Verbal communication: Personal communication. Loveday Mrs, with Pendleton C, May 2005.
  • <S6> Unpublished document: GSB Prospection. 2008. Geophysical Survey Report. Blythburgh Priory.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (7)

Record last edited

Sep 6 2017 4:08PM

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