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Wenlock Priory

Shropshire, England

Daughter house of the Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy





Looking from the west door down what was one of the longest naves in English abbey churches, Wenlock Priory, Shropshire - daughter house of the great Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy,  and once one of the largest and most significant priories in England.  Daughter houses of Cluny were called priories and were run by a prior who was appointed by "head office" in Burgundy rather than elected by his monks (as were Cistercian abbots)



Post card view of the priory site looking from the east


John (left) and another Apostle - figures from the stonework surrounding the lavabo water feature for hand washing outside the (site of the) refectory.


The south transept (detail below) - the largest block of ruin remaining
Note that  above the capitals are the bases of rib vaulted ceilings.
The chapter house backing on to the south transept.  Detail of the blind arcaded chapter house wall below.

Interlaced blind arch decoration on the remaining (north) wall of the Chapter House.  This decoration type is to be found internally and externally in Norman churches as far south as Monreale in Sicily.  It is interesting that whilst the main arches are Romanesquely semi circular (like the entrance arch to the Chapter House), the arch intersections produce very pointed Gothic arch shapes (like the transept window openings.  

Transept windows

Ruins of the Chapel of St Michael in the corner of the west end of the church, showing the mid 1100s plate tracery windows and (below) some of the flooring tiles.  It is probable that Wenlock  priory had its own tile kiln.


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