Blackfriars, Ipswich


Image. David Gill
The site of the Dominican priory of Blackfriars lies on the eastern side of the centre of Ipswich. The priory was founded in 1263. The excavated remains have been left open to the public. The image shows the east wall of the sacristy. 

There is a short description in the new Pevsner.

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey
Rievaulx Abbey © David Gill

The ruined Cisertcian abbey at Rievaulx came under State Guardianship in 1917 on the death of (Lt. Col.) Lord Feversham on the Western Front in September 1916 [CWGC]. Its acquisition was welcomed by Sir Charles Peers. During the 1920s he removed  some 90,000 tonnes of debris from the site. Following Peers’ retirement some reconstruction work was conducted.

From 1933 the abbey appeared in LNER railway posters (see here). Visitors were encouraged to travel to nearby Helmsley station.

The abbey had been founded in 1132.

The Monasteries of North-East Yorkshire


I have been thinking about the development of Heritage guidebooks in the UK. One of the moves away from the ‘blue guides’ was the new guide to Stonehenge and Avebury from the late 1950s. In 1962 a new guide was published for monastic sites in the care of the Ministry of Works: Alan Phillips, A look round the monasteries of north-east Yorkshire (London: HMSO, 1962) [2 shillings]. The guide is intended for tourers. The sites selected ‘are strung out … in the following pages, presented as to a motorist on a zigzag course from York’. A distinction is made between the detailed guides and this booklet: ‘This book is designed to be only an illustrated souvenir; the visitor in search of fuller information is advised to consult Abbeys, a Ministry of Works official publication’.

The sites covered are:

  • Kirkham Priory (pp. 6-11)
  • Byland Abbey (pp. 12-17)
  • Rievaulx Abbey (pp. 18-27)
  • Mount Grace Priory (pp. 28-33)
  • Gisborough Priory (pp. 34-37)
  • Whitby Abbey (pp. 38-45)

Each site has a simple plan, and there are a number of black and white photographs. There is a single reconstruction of Rievaulx Abbey by Alan Sorrell.

Phillips was also responsible for new castle guides in Wales.

My copy formed part of the Ministry of Works library and has now been withdrawn from the English Heritage library.

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