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White Abbey and section of wall adjoining to east

A Grade II* Listed Building in Alberbury with Cardeston, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.731 / 52°43'51"N

Longitude: -2.9263 / 2°55'34"W

OS Eastings: 337545

OS Northings: 315222

OS Grid: SJ375152

Mapcode National: GBR B9.126N

Mapcode Global: WH8BK.0MS6

Plus Code: 9C4VP3JF+CF

Entry Name: White Abbey and section of wall adjoining to east

Listing Date: 29 January 1952

Last Amended: 18 March 1986

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1366885

English Heritage Legacy ID: 258915

Location: Alberbury with Cardeston, Shropshire, SY5

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Alberbury with Cardeston

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Alberbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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SJ 31 NE

White Abbey and section of wall adjoining to east

(formerly listed as White Abbey)


Grandmontine Priory, remains of, now farmhouse. Circa 1225, converted into a house in c.1578 and remodelled in 1857-1858. Coursed Alberbury breccia and red sandstone rubble, C19 red brick; C13 red sandstone dressings and C19 grey sandstone dressings; plain tile roof, with two parallel gabled wings at rear.

The priory consisted of nave and square ended choir with the former chapel of St Stephen of three bays to the north and the cloisters to the south; the farmhouse incorporates the central section of the church (minus the east and west ends) and the former chapel of St Stephen; C19 remodelling in a Tudor Gothic style.Two storeys and attic. Chamfered plinth to north and centre of south front, and parapeted gables with chamfered copings and shaped kneelers; two C19 brick ridge stacks to rear, one with four square shafts and one with single shaft.

West (entrance) front: three windows; C19 wooden cross-windows with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds; 1:2:1 canted bay window to right with chamfered stone mullions and plain tile roof; former west doorway to chapel of St Stephen to left with continuous roll moulding and inserted early C19 two-light window with Y-tracery; central six-panelled door has fanlight with Y-tracery, moulded pointed arch with
quatrefoil and mouchette panels in spandrels and returned square hoodmould. Blocked first-floor slit window to internal newel stair at left. The left-hand part of this front is the former west front of the Chapel of St Stephen and the right-hand part is a section through the nave of the former priory church (see straight joints).

South (garden) front: 1:2 windows; C19 wooden cross-casements with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds, one-light attic window in gable to left; probable rear-arch to former sacristy door at right has inserted late C18 or early C19 glazing bar sash with intersecting Gothic tracery; former doorway to cloister at left has one order of shafts with stiff-leaf capitals (shafts missing), moulded reveals, triple moulded arch and chamfered inner arch with inserted C19 two-light Gothic window.

North front: north side of former chapel; three buttresses with chamfered offsets; projecting two-storey stair tower to right with rounded squinch over angle to left; blocked east window of chapel has one order of shafts with moulded bases and capitals (shafts missing), chamfered reveals and moulded arch. Short piece of rubblestone walling adjoining south front to east is part of the south wall of the former east end of the church; it has some later brick patching and some reused stones (see part of moulded arch).

Interior: former Chapel of St Stephen: quadripartite stone vaulting with chamfered ribs springing from shafts with moulded capitals(some shafts missing), carved bosses (that to east with the Agnus Dei, that in the centre with a man's head, and that to west with a man devoured by a winged monster); former east window has nook shafts with moulded capitals, and straight-sided chamfered rear arch; former double piscina with moulded trefoiled-arch and chamfered cill; former south doorway (into nave) has continuously-moulded arch and returned hoodmould; north-east newel stair, probably formerly leading to the space above the vaulting, now to the attic; former chapel with inserted stack and ceiling with chamfered beams, probably of c.1578.

Founded by Fulk Fitz Warin III as a house of Arrouaisian Canons and begun between 1221 and 1226. Alberbury Priory was eventually transferred to the Grandmontine Order and became one of only three in the country, dependant on the Abbey of Grandmontine in Limousin, France. Along with other alien priories during the French wars Alberbury was siezed by Edward III in 1337. The surviving chantries were eventually suppressed in 1547. The remains of the priory stand in a large moated site by the River Severn. No other buildings survive. The site of the church was excavated in 1925.

Buildings of England, p. 55
Trans. Salop. Arch. Soc., 4th series, Vol. XI (1928)
Archaeologia, Vol. 75 (1926)
Colin Platt, The Abbeys and Priories of Medieval England (1984), pp. 24-5.

Listing NGR: SJ3754515222

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