Old Photographs: The Priory

 The Priory was a late medieval mansion with later additions at the upper end of Market Street in Bradford on Avon.

The earliest parts were built in the latter part of the 15th century by Thomas Rogers, who was Sargeant-at-Law, a high-ranking legal official. The house would then have consisted of an open hall with wings at each end and a porch opening on to what is now Market Street. Separated by a short distance was a large barn of the same date with residential accommodation at one end, which is now known as Priory Barn, in Newtown. It was then known as Rogers’ Manor and had land that spread up the hillside to the present Winsley Road.

Paul Methuen (1613-1667) “the greatest cloathier of his day” leased it in 1646 and bought it in 1657 and it remained in the Methuen family until 1763, when they moved to Corsham Court. During the Methuen ownership a new wing in the early Georgian style was added on the southern side and some of the land on the hillside began to be developed as a New Town. The next owner was Mawbey Tugwell, who died in 1811 and then it was bought by clothier John Saunders and it remained in the Saunders family until the early 20th century, picking up the “Priory” name by the mid 19th century, although it had never been a priory. In 1937 it was put up for sale and was bought by a local builder called Alexander, who demolished most of it. Only the barn, a medieval wall on Market Street, the kitchen wing that was built by the Saunders and a coach house in Newtown remain.

Below are photographs from before and during demolition in 1938.

Click on the thumbnail pictures to see a bigger view.

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