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Boxgrove Priory

Location

Sussex_west Map

OS Ref: SU 908 075

Last Visited: 2017

The South Door

The South Door

All that remains these days of Boxgrove Priory is the Lodging House and part of the Church, along with fragments of the Chapter House.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Blaise has a lop-sided feel as all but the easternmost bay of the nave was demolished in the 18th century, leaving the crossing down near the west end. However the surviving chancel, central tower and transepts, make for an impressive building.

The Benedictine priory was founded in about 1117 by Robert de la Haye, Lord of Halnaker as a cell of the abbey at Lessay in Normandy. At that time it had a community of only three monks. The numbers of monks steadily increased but even at its height there were only nineteen.

The Lodging House

The Lodging House

It was dissolved in 1536, and the church was taken over by the parish. This was largely at the instigation of the Lord De La Warr, the patron of the priory. Indeed, he went so far as to build a very fine Chantry in which he hoped to be buried along with his wife.

Whilst fragments of the nave and chapter house survive, the only other substantial remains are those of the two-storey Lodging House.

Now cared for by English Heritage, they stand in the middle of a field looking rather detached from the complex of buildings they once served.