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Gisborough Priory

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Giseburghe; Guisborough; St Mary's Priory

In the civil parish of Guisborough.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Redcar & Cleveland.
1974 county of Cleveland.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ61691608
Latitude 54.53631° Longitude -1.04976°

Gisborough Priory has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Licence to crenelllate reputedly given to enclose and embattle priory in 1376. Jackson writes "This wall and a ditch enclosed about ninety acres, and had two gateways."

A Royal licence to crenellate may have been granted in 1376 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).


This supposed licence is not enrolled although it it is mentioned (but not referenced) in several sources, including the English Heritage guide book, although sometimes dated 1375. Tellingly the VCH does not mention this supposed licence. The Norman great gate survives, although ruined. This is clearly not defensive and does not have a portcullis or drawbridge, the precinct wall survives only in fragments. This is too long to be defensible. The prior was granted an licence for his mansum of Giseburgh in 1344, but the wording of this suggest a separate building from the Priory which Gatehouse tentatively identifies as a lost house at War Fields (see Gisborough Castle and Priors House). It is just possible the supposed licence of 49 Edward III is a misreading of 18 Edward III although it is difficult to see how such a misread might happen in either arabic or roman numerals.
Note the modern town is spelt Guisborough but the abbey maintains an older spelling Gisborough.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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