Dunstable Priory House

Has been described as a Questionable Palace (Royal)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameDunstable Priory House
Alternative Names
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishDunstable

The Augustinian Priory of St Peter was founded by Henry I, Christmas 1131-2. The Priory was dissolved in 1540. Henry VIII ordered the conversion of part of the conventual buildings into a royal residence, but following his death, no further works were carried out, and Queen Mary sold it to Sir Leonard Chamberlain for £300. The conventual church, built during the latter half of C12 and completed in 1220, with one tower rebuilt in C15, was thoroughly restored in 1871. Only the nave of the original church remains. Other extant buildings remain in the Priory House Gateway, where there is C15 stone archway with a smaller gateway on the right. Priory House stands on the site of the Priory Guesthouse and are reputed to contain C13 vaulted room. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Does not seem to have ever been used as a royal residence and it may be questionable if the intent to convert the conventual buildings was ever very serious.

- 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 ReferenceTL019217
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Copyright Maureen Lane All Rights Reserved
Copyright Maureen Lane All Rights Reserved
Copyright Maureen Lane All Rights Reserved

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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  • Thurley, Simon, 1993, The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (Yale University Press) p. 50, 56, 57, 118 (plan), 119
  • James, T.B., 1990, The Palaces of Medieval England (London; Seaby) p. 22, 38, 40
  • Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works, Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) (London) p. 75-6



  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk East of England Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 14 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 16 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 16 online copy
  • Albion Archaeology, 2003 (edited January 2005), Extensive Urban Survey - Bedfordshire and Luton (Bedfordshire County Council and English Heritage) Download copy