Mount Grace Priory

Photographs of Mount Grace Priory are usually of the iconic ruined church tower in this the best preserved Carthusian monastery in Britain if not Europe, an order where the monks lived a solitary life as hermits. Indeed such my last photo, taken two years ago. So for this time I have chosen a photo is of the west facade of the medieval guest house, built in the 17th century as a private residence and extended in 1900/01 and incorporating the shell of the monastery’s guest house.

Mount Grace Priory is a National Trust property that is managed by English Heritage. The original guest accommodation at the monastery consisted of a three storey building with four guest cells on the ground floor, and suites of rooms on the first and second floors for more important guests. The 17th century house was probably built by Conyers, Lord Darcy, who acquired Mount Grace by marriage in 1616.

The property was brought in 1898 by Sir Lowthian Bell, an iron and steel magnate, who had been urged by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings to protect the fragile ruins of the priory and the 17th-century mansion. Under his ownership the ruins were stabilised and the house remodelled in the Arts and Crafts style. In 1953 Mount Grace Priory was accepted by the Treasury in lieu of death duties and given to the National Trust.

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