Bridlington Priory
Religious Place Bridlington East Riding Of Yorkshire

Bridlington Priory

Religious Place In Bridlington, East Riding Of Yorkshire

Priory founded in 1113, nestled in the heart of Bridlington old town.

When the original priory was founded in 1113 by Walter de Gant, it was an extensive monastic complex, much larger than what can be seen today. It extended into the nearby allotments and rectory garden and consisted of a courtyard, cloister, chapel, infirmary and a library. After Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, the priory was closed in 1539. Most of the complex was left to ruin, however, the nave survived and began a new life as the parish church. The only other part which remains is the Bayle Gate, a fortified entrance, which is now a museum. Some of the stones from the ruined buildings were at least put to good use, and were used in the construction of the piers at Bridlington.

For over 300 years, the nave continued to be used as the parish church and finally in 1846 funds were raised to repair the building. Improvements were made including fitting a new roof, installing stained glass windows and white washing the walls. In 1874, further repairs were made totalling £27,000 to make the church what it is today.

When we were there, the priory was sadly not open to the public but we spotted some interesting artifacts in the grounds. I can't find any info about when the King Charles and Queen Camilla gargoyles were installed, however, the royal couple visited the priory on 12th September 2022, so it may have been around then!

Further into the churchyard is a monument funded by public subscription which marks a mass grave and commemorates the Great Gale Disaster on 10th February 1871. Raging seas caused 30 ships to be wrecked in Bridlington Bay that day and around 70 people died there. A special service is held every year at the priory to remember those who lost their lives at sea.

As a result of the Great Gale Disaster, Samuel Plimsoll pressed parliament to provide safety regulations for merchant ships and ensured that they were not overloaded. Overloading of ships contributed to the loss of many lives and the Plimsoll Line is used on ships to this day. The line on the side of ships shows the limit of legal submersion when loaded with cargo.

Just before we left the churchyard, we spotted a tree sculpture bearing the words: There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future. The words are a quote from St Augustine of Hippo (cool name) who founded the Augustinian order. The sculpture is by stone and wood carver Stephen Carvill and was created in 2013.

The old town of Bridlington is an interesting area and one that is possibly overlooked for it's bustling harbour instead, but it is definitely worth a visit.

After our plea for interior shots of the priory, we were inundated with some beautiful pics. These ones were taken by our Fabulous friend Ashley Lightfoot:

Impressive interior! Here are some of the finer details too:

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How To Find Bridlington Priory

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54.094505, -0.201872

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There is on-street parking close to the priory.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

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Sandra Clemens

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Bridlington Priory was listed in Religious Place // East Riding Of Yorkshire // Bridlington