Outer Court, St Mary's Priory, Nuneaton

Description of this historic site

The outer court, or precinct of the priory, suggested by the medieval topography of Nuneaton. Archaeological investigation within the area of the precinct has recorded various medieval deposits.

Notes about this historic site

1 An archaeological evaluation was carried out in 1991 within an area known to be within the precinct of the medieval priory of St Mary. Three trial trenches were excavated; one trench revealed archaeological evidence for 13th and 15th century occupation on the site. This included a 13th century cobbled surface which was overlain by medieval building debris of a structure probably demolished in the 15th century. The 15th century building would presumably have belonged to the outer ranges of the priory; the evidence suggests that it was a domestic rather than an industrial building. The other two trenches did not reveal any archaeological deposits.
2 An evaluation of land next to the former physiotherapy block at Manor Hospital revealed evidence of the outer court of the medieval monastery. No direct evidence of associated structures was recovered from the evaluation area, but quantities of demolition rubble, decreasing in volume to the north east, suggest the presence of medieval buildings in the vicinity.
3 Archaeological observation during the construction of South Home, following on from the evaluation outlined in 2 recorded a medieval yard surface.
4 Archaeological Observation of Community Health Facility Development at Manor Hospital. Observation of the stripping of tarmac from the car park and the cutting of a drain trench, revealed no evidence for the buildings of the outer court of Nuneaton Priory, known from earlier evaluation trenches and archaeological observation to have been located to the SE.
5 ,6 This area was remapped to incoprorate the putative extent of the preinct as recorded in the sources outlined above. The priory was surpressed in 1539 and granted to Sir Marmaduke Constable whose survey on 1543 mentions several houses and tenements within the outer court.

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