In the twelfth century, a group of Benedictine nuns chose this spot because of its beauty and its solitude. For four centuries it was home to their order until Henry VIII evicted them in 1540. Over the years that followed, the Priory was used as a Parish church before falling derelict and becoming a home for stray chickens!
The artist JMW Turner visited the Priory in 1816 and made a sketch, from which he later produced a watercolour.
Marrick Priory was once home to one of Britain's oldest hearses, built in 1828.
During the 1960's the Priory was converted by the Diocese into an Outdoor Education and Residential Centre. We have some photos from 1958 showing Marrick Priory before the conversion. We also have some photos from the 1970s and beyond showing how things have changed over the years - see photos - then and now. In 1994 the old Prioress's house was converted from a barn into a large new common room. Further works were completed in 2003 to upgrade the boys bathrooms, drying facilities and our provision for those with disabilities
Today thousands of visitors a year still appreciate this place for the very same reasons that the nuns chose it 850 years ago. Enjoying both adventure and tranquility through a range of activities and residential opportunities.
You can download the entire history section as a PDF here for printing and viewing offline.
The Hearse House
Marrick Priory was once home to a very rare object: probably Britain’s oldest hearse, built in 1828. The simple two-wheeled hearse left the Priory’s grounds in the 1960s ... Continue Reading