Priory gateway


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Malvern Hills (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 77531 45849


The Priory Gateway 75m west of The Priory Church of St. Mary & St. Michael, Malvern.

Reasons for Designation

Early monasteries were built to house communities of monks or nuns; sometimes houses were `mixed' and included both sexes. The main buildings provided facilities for worship, accommodation and subsistence. They included a series of timber halls and perhaps a stone church, all located within some form of enclosure. The Benedictine monks, who wore dark robes, came to be known as `black monks'. These dark robes distinguished them from Cistercian monks who became known as `white monks' on account of their light coloured robes. Over 150 Benedictine monasteries were founded in England. As members of a highly successful order many Benedictine houses became extremely wealthy and influential. Their wealth can frequently be seen in the scale and flamboyance of their buildings. Benedictine monasteries made a major contribution to many facets of medieval life and all examples exhibiting significant surviving archaeological remains are worthy of protection. Despite rebuilding, remodelling and the insertion of a road surface with access bollards, the gatehouse known as The Priory Gateway survives comparatively well and contains a number of architectural features of considerable interest. Elements of earlier structures will remain concealed behind later stone and brickwork and will provide important information on its construction and rebuilding.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 May 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes a gatehouse situated on the western side of the precincts of Great Malvern Priory that was constructed to provide the entrance to the precincts from Abbey Road. The monument survives as a priory gatehouse that was constructed in the 15th century and rebuilt and remodelled during the 18th and 19th centuries. The gatehouse is rectangular in plan and is constructed from Malvern and Tisbury Stone with brick and a tile roof. The northern façade opens out on to Abbey Road and has a large central four centred arch supported by three orders of slim columns. The gateway is recessed into a larger square hoodmould with a quatrefoil in each spandrel. The elevation is divided into two tiers of traceried panels each with a cinquefoil head with an embattled parapet that has traceried cinquefoiled panels beneath stone coping. Each side of the entrance arch is a single light window with stone mullions and stepped angle buttresses are situated at each corner. Above the gateway arch is a three-light oriel window that is flanked by stone mullioned two-light windows. The south facing elevation has three gables with decorated bargeboards above three two-light stone mullioned windows. The entrance to the thoroughfare has a central four centred arch with a stone hoodmould supported by a chamfered column. Each side of the arch is a three-light stone mullioned window with a flat stone hoodmould. The thoroughfare has a flat ceiling and has large buttresses on the eastern and western sides. A doorway is situated at the south western corner. A 19th century coursed ashlar addition has been constructed on the western side with stone mullion windows with cinquefoiled heads.

The Benedictine priory of Great Malvern was founded during the late 11th century and was dissolved in 1540. The Gateway and the Church of St. Mary & St. Michael are the only standing remains of the Benedictine priory.

The Priory Gateway is listed at Grade II* and is also known as the Abbey Gateway.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
WT 258
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (2007)
PastScape Monument No:- 868508 & 113644


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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