Bridlington Tourist Information

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Bridlington Priory

Bridlington Priory was founded in 1113 as a house of Augustinian canons. The founder, Walter de Gant, was a friend of the King, Henry I. Benefactors at this time often preferred the Augustinians to other monastic orders as they looked after parishes and were subject to the King and Bishop. The Priory was wealthy from the start and produced scholars and musicians.

A later Prior made such an impact on the community with his good works that after his death he was made a saint – St. John of Bridlington. However, at the Reformation the Priory, along with all religious houses, was ‘dissolved’, most of its buildings destroyed and its property seized.

The nave only was left and that is what we see today. The Priory was the sole parish church in Bridlington from then until the 19th century.

  • Bridlington Priory Church South Aisle

    Bridlington Priory Church South Aisle
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    Bridlington Priory Church South Aisle

    The first tablet West of the Screen is to Elizabeth Hickman, of whom it is written, "She was an obedient wife, had an agreeable person, and a fine understanding improved by a polite education. She died 31 July A.D. 1730 The 71". The marble bust, set in the niche with...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Monastic Buildings

    Bridlington Priory Church Monastic Buildings
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    Bridlington Priory Church Monastic Buildings

    A lucid account of the extent and magnificence of the Monastery can be gathered from the report of Richard Pollard, a surveyor of Henry VIII. The Church, cruciform in design with a steeple at the crossing, was more than 390 feet in length, being second only in size in Yorkshire...


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  • An Introduction to Bridlington Priory Church

    An Introduction to Bridlington Priory Church
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    An Introduction to Bridlington Priory Church

    This Bridlington Priory section of the Bridlington web site is dedicated to the memory of John. W. Lamb, M.A., Ph.D. the author of the information within this section, without whom this section would not be possible.

    The site upon which the Priory stands has been the scene of civilisation for...


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  • The Foundation of Bridlington Priory Church

    The Foundation of Bridlington Priory Church
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    The Foundation of Bridlington Priory Church

    The Manor of Bridlington, formerly held by Earl Morcar and in 1072 forfeited by him to the Crown, was granted by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Gaunt or Gant, who accompanied him from Normandy. The property, along with other great possessions, was inherited by his son, Walter de Gaunt,...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church  War Memorial

    Bridlington Priory Church War Memorial
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    Bridlington Priory Church War Memorial

    The suggestion that the War Memorial should take the form of these magnificent screen originated with the offer of the "Roll of Honour" of "C" Squadron of the 23rd Hussars- The Squadron had trained in Bridlington and in the Priory performed its last corporate and public act of worship before...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Sacrarium or Sanctuary

    Bridlington Priory Church Sacrarium or Sanctuary
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    Bridlington Priory Church Sacrarium or Sanctuary

    During the nineteenth century restoration the pre-Reformation High Altar Stone, an which are to been seen the five consecration crosses, was laid in the floor at the top of the three steps. Upon this stone now stands the beautifully designed Holy Table, behind which on the East wall is the...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church The Nave

    Bridlington Priory Church The Nave
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    Bridlington Priory Church The Nave

    In order to obtain a general idea of the magnificence and size of the Priory the Visitor should enter by the SW tower door and, then turning immediately to the left, let his gaze travel over the North side of the Nave. Perhaps this is the most impressive and beautiful...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Organ

    Bridlington Priory Church Organ
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    Bridlington Priory Church Organ

    In 1789 the first Organ was installed to take the place of a quartet of two violins., a bassoon and a clarinet. A larger instrument was erected in 1834, which was replaced in 1889 by an instrument built by Messrs. Anneessens of Belgium. It possessed all the brightness characteristic of...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church West Side

    Bridlington Priory Church West Side
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    Bridlington Priory Church West Side

    On entering the churchyard at the South West corner and going northwards there can be obtained a full view of the West Front. The attention is at once arrested by the contrasting styles of architecture so harmoniously blending to give a lasting impression of magnificence, stateliness and beauty.

    The North...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Ancient Records

    Bridlington Priory Church Ancient Records
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    Bridlington Priory Church Ancient Records

    The Bridlington Priory Registers have been well preserved and are complete from 1564. These records are naturally often consulted since they also refer to the ancient townships which at one time were in the ancient Parish of Bridlington.

    Bridlington Priory written by the late John. W. Lamb, M.A., Ph.D.

    ...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church West End

    Bridlington Priory Church West End
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    Bridlington Priory Church West End

    The same principle of a strengthening Perpendicular screen is to be seen in the Great West Window.

    The window extends the full width of the Nave and fills all the height above the Great West Doors. It can now be seen quite clearly that the tracery above the screen is...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church  South Side

    Bridlington Priory Church South Side
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    Bridlington Priory Church South Side

    The South side of the Nave has the same Early English arcading but it will be noted that the three western-most pillars do not have shafts but are quadrangular in shape, having a flat surface adorned with Perpendicular panelling similar to that on the wall beneath the Great West Window.

    ...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church East Side

    Bridlington Priory Church East Side
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    Bridlington Priory Church East Side

    The East end looks like some strongly fortified castle with its massive buttresses. These immense buttresses enclose the lower part of the two western piers of the former central tower. Within the buttress to the South there still remains the spiral staircase which once led up to the bell-chamber. The...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Font

    Bridlington Priory Church Font
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    Bridlington Priory Church Font

    The Font, probably of the fourteenth century, is plain in design and of dignified proportions. Worked in Frosterly marble it stands upon a square base set compass-wise which in turn rests on an octagonal base of Hopton Wood stone.

    The Font suffered much at the hands of the restorers during...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Founders Stone

    Bridlington Priory Church Founders Stone
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    Bridlington Priory Church Founders Stone

    Perhaps the most interesting and most ancient object in the Priory is the large black stone which is set up tablewise on two panelled pedestals. Many theories have been advanced concerning its origin and interpretation. It is of Tournai marble and its period can therefore be fairly well established by...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church North Aisle Windows

    Bridlington Priory Church North Aisle Windows
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    Bridlington Priory Church North Aisle Windows

    There now remain eight windows, which form a series of Old Testament studies. A cursory glance will immediately show the superb craftsmanship of this series. Authorities in modern painted glass assert that these windows possess some of the finest modern glass in the country, and that as a series it...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Smiling Lady

    Bridlington Priory Church Smiling Lady
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    Bridlington Priory Church Smiling Lady

    On the left, in the centre of the pillar where the Nave arcading meets the arch of the Tower can be seen a springer of remarkable beauty.

    The base of it is an exquisitely carved woman's head, perfect in every detail even to the line of the curls in her...


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  • Bridlington Priory Chancel

    Bridlington Priory Chancel
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    Bridlington Priory Chancel

    It will be seen that the Chancel extends the full length of three bays, and that the arcading is filled in with oak parclose screens in the Gothic style. The Choir Stalls, three tiers on each side, are solidly built in English oak, and are gracefully surmounted by carved figures,...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church  Side Chapel

    Bridlington Priory Church Side Chapel
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    Bridlington Priory Church Side Chapel

    To the East of the Screen in the South Aisle is the beautiful Side-Chapel, designed and wrought by the same architect and craftsmen, respectively, mentioned in the previous section.

    The gift of anonymous donors, the Chapel was dedicated to the glory of God and in honour of St. John of...


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  • A brief introduction to Bridlington Priory Church

    A brief introduction to Bridlington Priory Church
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    A brief introduction to Bridlington Priory Church

    This Bridlington Priory section of the Bridlington web site is dedicated to the memory of John. W. Lamb, M.A., Ph.D. the author of the information within this section, without whom this section would not be possible.

    The site upon which the Priory stands has been the scene of civilisation for...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Cloister Arcading

    Bridlington Priory Church Cloister Arcading
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    Bridlington Priory Church Cloister Arcading

    Fragments of the cloisters found in the churchyard have been reconstructed and erected here in memory of Thomas Harland and his family who took a prominent part in the nineteenth-century Restoration.

    All the capitals and arches are original but in some places new shafts have been used. This twin-shafted arcade...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Pulpit

    Bridlington Priory Church Pulpit
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    Bridlington Priory Church Pulpit

    The Pulpit, on its stone base, is in the fourteenth century style and was erected in 1850, being removed to its present site in 1957. The panelling, canopy and spiral staircase with entrance grille were added in 1960.

    The deeply panelled work supporting the sound-board canopy has for its chief...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church North Side

    Bridlington Priory Church North Side
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    Bridlington Priory Church North Side

    The North Side contains the oldest part of the Priory, especially the lower part of the wall from the tower to the North Porch. The charm of this Porch is to be found chiefly inside, for the upper part has been much restored, including the groined roof in which can...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church South-West Tower Window

    Bridlington Priory Church South-West Tower Window
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    Bridlington Priory Church South-West Tower Window

    The window immediately over the South-West door depicts in the five lower lights, reading from left to right, the following scenes:-

    (I) The Annunciation, To the left is depicted the angel Gabriel and on the right the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Holy Spirit is symbolised by the dove overhead, The...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Mural Tablets

    Bridlington Priory Church Mural Tablets
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    Bridlington Priory Church Mural Tablets

    The first group of memorials are to the Creyke family. The detail of the carved pall in marble which drapes the urn so realistically is worthy of attention.

    The large brass is unique for its size and inscription which commemorates no less than 32 members of the family from 1567-1877.

    ...


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  • Bridlington Priory Clock & Bells

    Bridlington Priory Clock & Bells
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    Bridlington Priory Clock & Bells

     The large weights behind the gate on the right of the entrance which travel up to the height of sixty feet are part of the mechanism of the clock, which has dials on each side of the tower except the North side.

    The clock was erected in 1879 and fully...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church North Aisle

    Bridlington Priory Church North Aisle
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    Bridlington Priory Church North Aisle

    The North wall, with its beautiful lancet windows, is the oldest part of the Priory, the lower courses being Norman work. Along the wall will be seen a stone seat. Such seating alone was provided for the people in medieval times, and was used chiefly by the aged and infirm....


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  • Bridlington Priory Church South Aisle Windows

    Bridlington Priory Church South Aisle Windows
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    Bridlington Priory Church South Aisle Windows

    The first window from the East in the South aisle has for its subject the Apostle Paul. The oak screen which separates the Sacrarium from the Rector's vestry rather obtrudes itself when the window is viewed from the chancel, but even from this position the colourful beauty of the glass...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church Scolds Collar

    Bridlington Priory Church Scolds Collar
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    Bridlington Priory Church Scolds Collar

    Within the iron gate, immediately to the right of the entrance, will be seen an iron chain to which is attached an iron collar.

    This was used for the punishment of "scolds" or women offenders who had committed an offence by slander, etc.

    The collar was commonly called a...


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  • Bridlington Priory Coat of Arms

    Bridlington Priory Coat of Arms
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    Bridlington Priory Coat of Arms

    The three "Bs" always evoke inquiries as to their meaning and origin. Neither can be answered with certainty. We know, however, that the armorial belonged to the Priory in the sixteenth century. The heraldic description is per pale, sable, and argent, three Roman "Bs" counter changed, two and one.

    It...


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  • Bridlington Priory Church East Window

    Bridlington Priory Church East Window
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    Bridlington Priory Church East Window

    No one can look at the East window without observing that the East wall is not square with the arcading of the chancel. The plan on page 4 (of the original leaflet available at the priory) showing the ground plan of the entire Priory buildings before the Dissolution clearly indicates that...


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