Gisborough Priory

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are no visible remains

NameGisborough Priory
Alternative NamesGiseburghe; Guisborough; St Mary’s Priory
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityRedcar & Cleveland
1974 AuthorityCleveland
Civil ParishGuisborough

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."

Gatehouse Comments

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.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ616160
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Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 40
  • Jackson, M.J., 1996, Castles of Durham and Cleveland (Carlisle) p. 32-3
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2
  • Page, Wm (ed0, 1974, VCH Yorkshire Vol. 3 p. 208-23 online transcription
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1923, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 2 p. 352-3 online transcription
  • Whellan, T., 1857, History and topography of the city of York and the North Riding of Yorkshire (T Whellan and Co) Vol. 191-3 online copy
  • Ord, J.W., 1846, The history and antiquities of Cleveland p. 170 online copy
  • Grose, Francis, 1785 (new edn orig 1756), Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 6 p. 103-9 online copy

Guide Books

  • Coppack, Glyn, 1993, Gisborough Priory, Guisborough, Cleveland (English Heritage)
  • Gilyard-Beer, R., 1981, Gisborough Priory (D.o.E)