Summary of Monument
Part of the Augustinian Priory of St Nicholas at Barlynch Farm.
Reasons for Designation
From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597 to the reign of Henry VIII, monasticism formed an important facet of both religious and secular life in the British Isles. Settlements of religious communities were built to house communities of monks, canons (priests), and sometimes lay-brothers, living a common life of religious observance under some form of systematic discipline and it is estimated from documentary evidence that over 700 monasteries were founded in England. These ranged in size from major communities with several hundred members to tiny establishments with a handful of brethren more usual for a priory for example. They belonged to a wide variety of different religious orders, each with its own philosophy. As a result, they vary considerably in the detail of their appearance and layout, although all possess the basic elements of church, domestic accommodation for the community, and work buildings. Monasteries were inextricably woven into the fabric of medieval society, acting not only as centres of worship, learning, and charity, but also, because of the vast landholdings of some orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence. They were established in all parts of England, some in towns and others in the remotest of areas. Many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish churches, almshouses, hospitals, farming estates and tenant villages. Some 225 of these religious houses belonged to the order of St Augustine. The Augustinians were not monks in the strict sense, but rather communities of canons - or priests - living under the rule of St Augustine. In England they came to be known as `black canons' because of their dark coloured robes and to distinguish them from the Cistercians who wore light clothing. From the 12th century onwards, they undertook much valuable work in the parishes, running almshouses, schools and hospitals as well as maintaining and preaching in parish churches. It was from the churches that they derived much of their revenue. The Augustinians made a major contribution to many facets of medieval life and all of their monasteries which exhibit significant surviving archaeological remains are worthy of protection. The part of the Augustinian Priory of St Nicholas at Barlynch Farm survives comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, function, social and religious significance and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 July 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes part of an Augustinian Priory situated on the banks of the River Exe at Exe Cleeve. Known also as ‘Barlinch Priory’ it was founded between 1154 and 1189 and dissolved in 1537. The part of the priory survives as upstanding walls of up to 5m high attached and incorporated into the farmhouse and other buildings, parts of the priory church, fragments of the east and south cloister range and an additional building, along with earthwork remains of the leat supplying water, a fishpond, possible dovecote and gatehouse range with other layers, deposits and structures preserved as buried features. Partial excavations when foundations for a cottage were being dug revealed some vaults paved with encaustic tiles thought to be the crypt of the church. A pointed arch opening and some worked stones are located in the upstanding walling. The priory is claimed to have been founded by William de Say during the reign of Henry II and the first recorded prior was Bishop Reginald. The priory was affiliated to Cleeve Abbey.
The farmhouse and priory are Listed Grade II.
PastScape Monument No:-36537
National Grid Reference: SS 92891 28999