Thornton Abbey Gatehouse, College Road, Thornton Curtis, North Lincolnshire
This gatehouse is the best preserved remains of Thornton Abbey. It was built in the 1360s. It was enlarged and defended after a licence to fortify was granted to the abbey in 1382. This was for for Abbot Thomas Gresham. It also appears to have had an administrative function since it contained the Abbot's exchequer and courthouse. Thornton Abbey was an Augustinian Monastery. It was founded as a priory in 1139 by William Le Gros. It was raised to the status of abbey in 1148. After its suppression in 1539, Henry VIII refounded the abbey as a college of secular priests and a school for fourteen boys. This college was supressed (closed) by Edward VI in 1547 and demolished by Sir Vincent Skinner in 1610. Out of the remains, Skinner built a stately house which later collapsed. The remaining gatehouse is the largest and one of the most impressive gatehouses in England. It is notable for its early use of brick, ambitious design and rich decoration. This site is now in the care of English Heritage.