Marrick Priory


Foundation - Dissolution - Outdoor Centre


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.

History of Marrick Priory Outdoor Adventure Activity Centre - Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire



Today’s visitors frequently comment on the beauty of Marrick Priory’s setting in the middle reaches of Swaledale. For those who chose the site in the… Continue Reading


Marrick survived the first round of closures, even though it did belong to the ranks of the smaller houses, with an income below £200 per annum. On… Continue Reading

1958 – Photos

Photos from 1958 showing several boys from Richmond Grammar School renovating Marrick Priory before it started life as an Outdoor Education Centre in 1970s… Continue Reading

Youth Centre

During the 1960s work began converting Marrick Priory into a Youth Centre.  It opened to guests in 1970… Continue Reading

Photos – Then and Now

A selection of comparison photos showing how Marrick Priory has developed since it first opened as an Outdoor Centre in 1970… Continue Reading

Newspaper Articles

A selection of newspaper articles that chronicle the inception and development of Marrick Priory as an Outdoor Centre… Continue Reading

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

JMW Turner (Artist)

The artist JMW Turner visited Marrick Priory in the summer of 1816 on his way from Wensleydale to Richmond. He was collecting sketches for… Continue Reading

History PDF Download

We have created a free comprehensive 16-page downloadable history guide (PDF) which contains all the history information and photos from this website… Continue Reading