KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 94  1978  page 82

Excavations on the Site of Leeds Priory. Part 2 The Claustral Buildings
 and Other Remains
By P. J. Tester continued

refectory, opposite and parallel to the church, e.g. Boxley (Cistercian), Egglestone (Praemonstratensian), Lilleshall (Augustinian) and Monk Bretton (Cluniac).
   A through passage or ‘dark entry’ occurred at the east end of the south range, giving access from the cloister to the area south of the refectory range. At its north end the moulded jamb of the west side of its entrance survived and was of Decorated character (Plate IB and Fig. 4, no. 12). The opening at the south end had a cill rebated for a door 
4 ft. wide and opening inwards, and adjoining was the chamfered north jamb of a doorway giving access to the area beneath the refectory, this being separated from the passage by a thin wall.

The Kitchen
Disturbance in this locality had confused stratification and rendered interpretation difficult. On the east were indications of a wide fireplace with evidence of repair and renewal extending into the post-Dissolution period (Plate IIIA). Scattered pottery from this area ranged in date from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. A doorway in the north-east corner apparently communicated with the room under the refectory, and at the north end was the lower part of a stone stair, turning to the right, and no doubt originally leading up to the refectory.

   On removing part of the clay hearth, the lower part of a pottery vessel was found, standing upright without discernible contents, and with the rim above the shoulder missing. What remained was of hard buff ware suggesting a late-medieval or post-Dissolution date, and one is reminded of the custom of burying Bellarmine jugs and other vessels in hearths, containing charms against witches, though whether this is the explanation in this instance is far from certain.

The West Range
In order to trace the west side of this range, which was overlain by ruins of modern stone and brick farm buildings, a wide trench was cut by means of a mechanical excavator and the remains revealed defined by hand digging (Plate IIB). This showed the lower part of a wall with outer buttresses coinciding with internal responds. In the north-east corner, adjoining the church, there was a corbel, and another occurred in the south-east angle (Plate V), the top of the latter being only 2 ft. 2 in. above floor level, and clearly indicating that the lower storey of the range had been vaulted. In debris covering the south end, part of a plain chamfered vaulting rib was found to confirm this conclusion. Most probably the vault of this undercroft was supported by a central

Page 82

Previous page       Back to Page listings      Next page

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society click here

Back the Contents page     To Arch. Cant. List   To Publications On-line    To Research Page    To Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 2003