Monument record CLA 037 - Clare Priory Church

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Summary

A building survey and archaeological evaluation at Clare Priory Church prior to the enlargement of the church helped to demonstrate the sequence of building at this site

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 7700 4500 (31m by 14m)
Map sheet TL74NE
Civil Parish CLARE, ST EDMUNDSBURY, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (8)

Full Description

2003: A building survey and archaeological evaluation at Clare Priory Church prior to the enlargement of the church helped to demonstrate the sequence of building at this site. A survey of the south wall showed that its footings and western end were medieval, however that most of the wall was reconstructed in two phases during the 18th and 19th C. A medieval footing was also uncovered which appears to relate to a staircase shown in an 18th C engraving, which was removed during the rebuild. Another earlier footing was identified which suggests that there was a building on the site which pre-dated the church. During the evaluation a number of medieval and post-medieval finds were also uncovered (S1).

2013: Monitoring and limited building recording at Clare Priory during excavation for a new extension. The church in the form we see it today is first shown on the 1st edition OS map and probably dates to the second half of the 19th century when the Priory complex was occupied by a school. Within the school, the church building served as the Boys Hall and seems to have been converted at this time, from its previous use as a barn. The monitoring revealed the buried foundations of the original medieval building, which originally dates to 14th century and was constructed over two floors. It once housed an infirmary, dormitory and reredorter of the Augustinian friary. The walls were built in mixed grey and brown flints and the windows and buttresses have stone dressings in a mixture of limestone repaired with soft clunch which has weathered badly. The monitoring found evidence for a former buttress and chimney against the west end of the south wall. The buttress and chimney footing were directly sealed by deposits associated with the post-reformation remodelling of the building when the infirmary was converted to a barn. Examples of 'daisy wheel' apotropaic marks were recorded in the building on all of the few surviving fragments of plaster and date from when the building was being used as a barn c17th century. One of the marks has the date 1701 inscribed over the top. It was converted to a church after 'The Priory' was restored to the Augustinian Order in 1953 and is a protected Scheduled Monument (S2).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Gill, D.. 2003. Clare Priory Church: A report on the archaeological evaluation and building survey. SCCAS Evaluation report, 2003/10, Jan 2003.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Gill, D.. 2013. Archaeological Monitoring Report, Clare Priory Church new extension, Clare Priory.

Finds (10)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 16 2018 1:10PM

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