Ok ready for more History?
Mount Grace lay on the medieval road from York to Durham. (my posts re: York start HERE) It is the best preserved of the ten Carthusian Monasteries in England. Founded in 1398 by Thomas de Holland, Duke of Surrey & nephew to King Richard 2nd and then refounded in 1415 by Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset and later Duke of Exeter, it was the last monastery established in Yorkshire before the Reformation (the part of our history where Henry VIII & Thomas Cromwell had them all pulled down). Unlike other monks who lived communally the Carthusians lived as hermits. They worked, meditated and said daily prayers in solitude in their own cells, meeting each other only for daily Matins and Vespers, and at the convent mass.
The priory was closed in 1539 at the Suppression of the Monasteries, it’s monks were given pensions, and most of the buildings dismantled. In the 17th century the north guest house was converted into a comfortable residence and at the end of the 19th century the industrialist Sir Lothian Bell extended the house in the Arts & Crafts style and began repairing the Priory ruins.
On visiting we were able to see the layout of the priory including a reconstructed and furnished Monks cell and the house that occupies the shell of the priory’s original guest house. I went with Sophie and as you can see it started out a grey day but we did get some blue skies towards the end of our visit. The extensive gardens were beautiful too, so lots of photo’ s to get through, and I’ll split them into a few posts. This set of shots is just the main Priory itself.
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