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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 93  1977  page 35

Excavations on the Site of Leeds Priory Part  I  - THE CHURCH  By P. J. Tester, F.S.A.  continued

places by selective trenching, with more extensive excavation in critical areas where trees or other obstructions were absent. Despite these restrictions, it has been possible to achieve our main objectives to a greater degree than might originally have been anticipated.

It will assist in following the detailed descriptions if a summary of the main conclusions regarding the architectural development of the Priory is stated in advance:
   Period I. The earliest remains were those of a twelfth-century aisled cruciform church of which parts of the west end, north aisle, crossing piers, transepts and a fragment of the presbytery have been uncovered. The chapter house immediately adjoining the south transept was also of this period.
    Period II. A rebuilding of the nave and enlargement of the north transept took place early in the fourteenth century in the Decorated style and a reconstruction of the claustral buildings seems to have occurred about the same time.
   Period III. Subsequently, the early presbytery was replaced by one of much greater length. Only rubble footings of this remained with no architectural details to indicate its age more precisely.

The Norman Church
The constructional features of this period were of a consistent character wherever the twelfth-century work could be examined. Walls were of ragstone rubble rendered inside and out, with dressings invariably of Caen stone. This ashlar was well laid with thin mortar joints, the dressed faces exhibiting the close diagonal tooling characteristic of Norman masonry towards the middle of the twelfth century whereas in earlier work the joints are wider and the tooling much coarser. Wherever two walls joined at right-angles they were bonded together with squared blocks of Caen stone. In the area of the church, fragments of scalloped capitals were found, none in situ, and in some cases re-used in later construction.
   At the south end of the west front a twelfth-century buttress remained, partly embedded in later work (Plate IA). Its faces were of Caen stone ashlar bearing the characteristics previously mentioned. At its north-west corner was a nook-shaft with a base of shallow profile and the ground plinth was moulded (Fig. 2, no. 1). Part of this plinth was returned northward indicating that the Norman west front coincided within a few inches of the later rebuilding. The moulding suggests that the treatment of the original front must have been of a

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