Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 11593 98324


BRINKBURN BRINKBURN PRIORY NZ 19 NW 10/70 The Priory Church 21.10.53 (formerly listed as Brinkburn Priory Church) GV I

Church of Augustinian Priory, c.1190-1220; fell into ruins in C17 but conservatively restored 1858-59 by Thomas Austin of Newcastle for Cadogan Hodgson Cadogan. Squared stone with cut dressings; roof of small red clay tiles. Cruciform plan; nave with north aisle of 6 narrow bays, low crossing tower, transepts with 2-bay eastern aisles and 2-bay aisleless presbytery; some ruins of the chapter house vestibule or slype adjoin the south transept. Transitional style.

Nave: Main north entrance in 2nd bay from west: round arch of 3 orders with beakheads, chevron, zigzag and billet hood; carved capitals to jamb shafts; large dog-tooth to jambs and to outer angles of gabled projection holding doorway with arcade of 3 trefoiled arches above. Aisle wall has chamfered plinth, pilaster buttresses and broad lancet windows. Tall round-headed clerestorey windows. West end: nave north-west turret with shafted angles and pyramidal cap; the south-west turret which had fallen before the restoration, rebuilt to eaves level only. Wall arcade of pointed arches below a similar but taller arcade incorporating 3 tall lancets; jambs shafts missing; 3 stepped lancets in the gable. South nave wall arcade of trefoiled arches between the 2 processional doors under C19 pent tiled canopies: western door has moulded round arch on shafted jambs with dogtooth, all much renewed; eastern door has moulded and ornamented arch with tegulated hood and carved capitals to former jamb shafts. Above is rebate for timbers of cloister walk roof, and 5 tall round-headed windows. South transept: west wall has round- arched moulded doorway with waterleaf capitals to former jamb shafts, and twin rebated book lockers, with 2 tall round-headed windows above; south wall has clasping buttresses, blocked door to right stair and C19 Romanesque wheel window in gable; attached transverse arch and fragments of side walls of formerly-vaulted east-west chamber; east wall has lancets to aisle and round- arched clerestorey. In angle of south transept and presbytery, above aisle roof, is small statue in C16 canopied niche. North transept has similar east elevation; north wall has central projecting stair turret with small loops, flanked by lancets with round-headed windows above; turret is capped by gabled late C19 bellcote with cusped bargeboards. North end of aisle has small C14 trefoiled ogee window. Presbytery has lancets with round-headed windows above in side walls,with strings at sill levels; 3 tiers of lancets, the uppermost stepped, in east end, divided by buttresses which pass from square to semi- octagonal to keeled section as they rise; C19 finial cross. All parts of the church have a C19 eaves,cornice on moulded corbels. The central tower rises little above the roof ridges, and has a plain parapet.

Interior: Nave arcade of double-chamfered pointed arches with chamfered hoods, on octagonal piers with moulded caps; tympanum openings, above piers, of twin moulded round arches. Chamfered string between arcade and tympanum, moulded string between tympanum and clerestorey. Aisle has moulded springers for vault, never completed. Crossing has tall moulded pointed arches on shafted jambs. Transepts show similar detail to nave; aisles, each formerly a pair of chapels, have quadripartite vaults with chamfered ribs; piscina in southernmost chapel. Presbytery has string courses at sill levels and double-arched recess with piscina on south; blocked shoulder-arched door to former sacristy on north. C19 arch-braced collarbeam roofs.

The only medieval monuments are a fine cross slab with an inscription to Prior William, a suffragan Bishop of Durham, d.1484, and a few plain slabs; several C17 and C18 ledger stones. Pink marble slab to Cadogan Hodgson Cadogan d.1888, the restorer, in centre of presbytery. C19 tiled floors throughout. Stained glass: grisaille window, south of presbytery, by Austin incorporating fragments of original glass; other windows by Wailes and (east end) Clayton and Bell. Romanesque carved stone altar of 1898; late C19 choir stalls; panelled wood pulpit on stone base, dated 1874. 1868 organ by William Hill. Plain medieval font in presbytery.

A.B.E. Clark 'Brinkburn Priory' (D.0.E. guide) l982.

Listing NGR: NZ1159398322


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Clark, A B E , Brinkburn Priory Guide, (1982)
Clark, A B E , Brinkburn Priory Guide, (1982)
Clark, A B E , Brinkburn Priory Guide, (1982)
Clark, A B E , Brinkburn Priory Guide, (1982)
Clark, A B E , Brinkburn Priory Guide, (1982)
Clark, A B E , Brinkburn Priory Guide, (1982)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 09 Oct 2002
Reference: IOE01/08823/20
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Gordon Dixon. Source Historic England Archive
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