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The Priory

A Grade I Listed Building in Burford, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8093 / 51°48'33"N

Longitude: -1.6388 / 1°38'19"W

OS Eastings: 424996

OS Northings: 212363

OS Grid: SP249123

Mapcode National: GBR 5SW.DJ3

Mapcode Global: VHBZS.JSZB

Plus Code: 9C3WR956+PF

Entry Name: The Priory

Listing Date: 12 September 1955

Last Amended: 1 March 1990

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1224759

English Heritage Legacy ID: 420905

Location: Burford, West Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, OX18

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Burford

Built-Up Area: Burford

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Burford

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Tagged with: English country house

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AND SIGNET (West end)
SP2412-2512; SP2512(Enlargement) The Priory (Previously
5/179; 7/179 listed as Burford Priory
12.9.55 and chapel)


Gentleman's mansion house, on site of a small Augustinian Hospital.
c.1200 and late 16th century, remodelled and extended mid C17 by William
(Speaker) Lenthall, and altered again after 1808 when it was greatly
reduced in size. Ashlar and dressed rubble, Cotswold stone roofs.
Largely Jacobean with fragmentary C13 and c.1580 elements. Roughly U-
plan. Three storeys and attic. Outer gables with steps and cut finials, ;
central fluted-fan panel with finials, flanked by set-back, paired
diagonal-shaft chimneys. Mullion windows, very long on 1st floor. 3
storey outer bays with crenellations (1580s, moved from S.front - see
scars - in mid-C17). Central swagger porch with Corinthian ground floor
and Composite 1st floor; panels, atlantes, strapwork and 'shield', arched
doorway. South side: mid-C17 six-bay long gallery wing in freestone with
arched-architraves, scroll keys and panelled pilasters to 1st floor
windows, bulls-eye windows below, cornice and parapet, weathered verges,
ashlar chimney. C18 extension, irregular 1 1/2 and 2 storey wing, restored
1923, one cross-mullion window to 1st floor right, a Serliana loggia to
right of centre with shaped gable over, 4 hipped dormers to left. Rear of
house; irregular, dominated by taller stair block with two arched windows
(mid-C18); U-plan ranges, South wing restored by Horniman with elements of
Cotswold style and Voyseyish detail. The interior: 3 C13 (early) arches
and piers re-instated in entrance hall which has a C17 fire-place. Early-
mid C18 staircase with 3 barley-sugar balusters per tread, fluted
Corinthian newels, enriched plaster ceiling with high relief rose and
pendant. On 1st floor, the 'ball-room' (present chapel) has wide-rib
enriched plaster ceiling with pedants; large fire-place with 3 spiral
pairs of palmette-Ionic columns, broken segmental pediment and overmantel
carving in the same spirit as the Harman memorial in the Parish Church
(q.v.) however with the Lenthall arms and grey-hound crest; excellent pine
panelling. The spine wall at rear of front block is basically mediaeval.
History The Hospital of St John the Evangelist was 1st recorded in 1226
and was quite small. In 1543, it was granted to Edmund Harman, one of
Henry VIII's barber-surgeons, who seems to have built a mansion here. The
Priory was next acquired by Sir Lawrence Tanfield, later Lord Chief Baron
of the Exchequer (as Lord of the Manor of Burford, very unpopular for
reducing the power of the burgesses); he entertained James I here in 1603,
and altered it. William (Speaker) Lenthall bought The Priory in 1637 and
died in 1662 having extended and remodelled it. Charles II dined here in
1681 en route to the Burford Races. After a chequered history including
the amputation of outer wings and flattening of the facade in early C19,
The Priory was saved from complete dereliction in 1908 by Col de Sales de
la Terriere whose work was continued by Emslie John Horniman, who bought
it in 1912. It is now the Convent of The Community of the Salutation of
Our Lady (Anglican Benedictine), enclosed order, hence the elegant half-
moon yew screen to entrance. Despite alterations, a good example of a
mid-C17 gentleman's house.
B of E. Oxfordshire, J Sherwood and NP pp 510-512; County Life 4 March
1911 pp 306-315; 3 June 1939 pp 586-591; Oxoniensia, Vol IV 1939 pp 71-

Listing NGR: SP2499612363

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