The cloister and its buildings.

Evidently the cloister and its buildings were situated to the south of the church. Stretton’s statement to this effect has already been mentioned, and it is reasonable to suppose it to be correct, as the character of the cloisters would be sufficiently distinct from those of other parts of a monastery to exclude any possibility of a mistake in identification. It is worthy of note that the details of Lenton Fair, given in the agreement of 1516 between the monks of Lenton and the burgesses of Nottingham, suggest the existence of a considerable space to the north of the church and near the Hospital of St. Anthony.1 The " Vestment Row " stood at the north-west corner of the church, and other booths " next the Antony house." With the cloister and its buildings to the south, the rere dorter would be conveniently placed near the River Leen. An additional reason for believing the cloisters were to the south side, lies in the position of the present graveyard, to the north of the monastic church. It seems unlikely that the dead of the parish would be buried where the foundations of buildings would be numerous.


According to Godfrey, the gatehouse of the monas­tery "stood across the Wilford Road near the end of Abbey Street." He gives no evidence for this, but if, as he says, the gatehouse was in existence at the commencement of the 19th century, it may have been common knowledge in his time. The meaning of "across " in Godfrey's statement has frequently been taken to mean "astride."2 It is difficult to see how an important road which had led to the ford across the Trent and thence to Wilford—probably for centuries before Lenton Priory was built—could pass under the monastic gatehouse. A more reasonable interpretation seems to be that the gatehouse lay on the south side of the Wilford Road, now Gregory Street. To have the gatehouse leading from this road would certainly be convenient for the monks and their visitors.

Extent and situation of precincts.

On the north, the precincts were apparently bounded by the Wilford Road mentioned above. To the south and east they probably stretched as far as the River Leen or beyond. It is rather surprising that this low-lying land was chosen for the site of the monastery. One inducement may have been the existence of the River Leen, which would assist drainage and sanitation. There is no evidence to show how far the monastic precincts extended westwards.

Lenton Priory—The Ambulatory.
Lenton Priory—The Ambulatory.

Monks’ cemetery.

The usual place for this was at the east end of the church..3 Evidence that the monks' cemetery at Lenton occupied the usual position exists in the finding of numerous human remains at the south end of Old Church Street.4

The Prior’s orchard.

This is mentioned in a perambulation of Sherwood Forest of the reign of Henry VIII5 and in another of the reign of James I.6 As a perambulation of 1218 shows the boundary of the forest to be on the west bank of the Leen, 7 it seems likely that the prior's orchard was on the side of the river remote from the monastic buildings, probably near Wilford Road. Godfrey refers to the Abbey Orchard and states that it was intersected by the Nottingham Canal.8

Lady Chapel.

In the Report on the Manuscripts of Lord Middleton preserved at Wollaton Hall,9 there is mention of “the chapel of Our Lady within the monastery of the Holy Trinity, Lenton.” There is no evidence to indicate the position of this chapel.

Lenton Priory—Foundations of north side chapel.
Lenton Priory—Foundations of north side chapel.

The present “priory church.”

This is supposed to have been built upon the foundations of the chapel of the Hospital of St. Anthony which stood within the court or curia of the monastery. The evidence given by Godfrey for this supposition appears to be sound.10 An alternative suggestion has been made that the present “Priory Church” occupies the site of the monastic hospitium. A position near the gatehouse was usually assigned to the house for receiving guests, but there is no direct evidence to support this theory. Godfrey mentions one or two references to the Hospital of St. Anthony. A full account of the Order of St. Anthony is to be found in the Archaeological Journal, Vol. LXXXIV; 2nd Series, Vol. XXXIV.11 In this paper Dr. Rose Graham points out that “St. Anthony’s fire was not, as has sometimes been said, a pestilential erysipelas; it was ergotism, an epidemic caused by the mixture of grains in rye which have been poisoned by a parasite known as claviceps purpurea.” Dedications of churches and chapels to St. Anthony were rare. It is, therefore, interesting to find that a chantry in honour of St. Anthony was founded in 1470 in the parish church of Wollaton, the next village to Lenton.12 The foundation of the hospital of St. Anthony within the court of Lenton Priory occurred much earlier, of course. In 1225, Henry III by his letters patent gave permission to the brethren of the Hospital of St. Antoine de Viennois to preach and ask for alms in England for the support of the poor in their hospital.13 Seemingly, about the same year, Aucherius granted to God and to the Hospital of St. Anthony in Lenton three roods of meadow land in Bunny.

The Norman font.

This is now preserved in the Church of the Holy Trinity, New Lenton. One interpretation of the sculptures on the faces of the font is to be found in Godfrey, pp. 269-270. A more recent account will be found in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, Vol. XXXIII, Part I, October 1927, pp. 191-197.

Stones in the grounds of Nazareth House, Old Lenton, and of the Vicarage, New Lenton.

Those in Nazareth House grounds include a Norman voussoir with bowtell moulding, Norman vaulting ribs, a window mullion of the Decorated period, and window mullions and tracery cuspings of the Perpendicular period. In the Vicarage garden are many examples of mouldings of the Perpendicular period.

(1) Borough Records of Nottingham, Vol. IV, p. 349 et seq.
(2) See plan in  The Parish and Priory of Lenton, by Rev. E. D, Ginever, p. 41,
(3) English Monasteries: A. Hamilton Thompson;  1923 edn., p. 39.
(4) Godfrey: pp. 223-224.
(5) Deering: Nottinghamia,Vetus et Nova, p. 311.
(6) Borough Records of Nottingham, Vol. IV, p. 413.
(7) White: Dukery Records, p. 396.
(8) p. 196.
(9) p. 120. The date of the reference is 1485.
(10) Godfrey: pp. 233, 234, 246, 248, 489, 499.
(11) “The Order of St. Antoine de Viennois and its English Commandery,” St. Anthony’s, Threadneedle Street: by Miss Rose Graham, M.A., D.Litt., F.S.A., pp. 341-406.
(12) Ibid., p. 383.
(13) Ibid., p. 349. Report on the Manuscripts of Lord Middleton preserved at Wollaton Hall p. 69.