Monument record MLI50244 - Site of Heynings Priory at Park Farm South


Site of Heynings Priory at Park Farm South

Type and Period (6)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The Cistercian nunnery of Heynings has hitherto been identified with the earthworks at Hermit Dam in Lea, or the settlement remains alongside the parish church at Knaith. The identification of the remains at Park Farm South rests partly on the nature of the earthworks and associated finds and partly on documentary and other considerations which render the alternatives untenable. The nunnery was founded for brethren and sisters after 1135, probably in the reign of King Stephen or early in the reign of King Henry II. There were a prioress, sub-prioress, 13 nuns and 2 lay sisters in 1376, and a prioress and 11 nuns at its dissolution in 1539. The nunnery site was then granted to Sir Thomas Heneage. At his death in 1553 it passed by marriage to Lord Willoughby of Parham, along with the Manor of Knaith. Reference to a 'messuage in Heynings' in 1553 hints at the possibility of some secular settlement at the priory gates and some occupation seems to have persisted here under the name of Knaith Park. It is by this name that Park Farm South is noted on the 1824 Ordnance Survey first edition map. By the time antiquarian interest revived in the early 19th century, knowledge of the location of the priory was completely lost. The varied state of preservation of the earthworks, from good to over-ploughed and partially infilled, makes overall interpretation difficult, and dumping and extension of farm buildings has continued to erode the remains. On the south, an interlinked series of leats, which the present north-flowing stream must have once been a part of, are a remarkable survival. The leats feed through ponds, into a moat-like feature forming the south and south-east sections of a precinct enclosure. On the west the streams changes direction significantly and presumably forms the western boundary. Much of the enclosure so formed is occupied by the 18th century farmhouse, its yards, buildings and garden. Levelling for a lawn south of the house revealed extensive occupation debris, while excavations close by uncovered at least two inhumations. Digging for foundations of new farm buildings has revealed at least five and perhaps as many as twelve further burials. It seems likely that this is the area of conventual buildings with the cemetery to their east. Medieval glazed roof tiles, a stone roof slate, a few fragments of later medieval pottery and other finds have been discovered in casual diggings. See also sources 7,8,10. On the north an outer precinct is closely defined on the north and west by a ditch. Within it the area may formerly have been divided by ditches into smaller compartments: extensive hollows and banks may indicate the location of buildings or their later robbing for stone, although there are the clear foundations of one large barn-like building. To the east, the limits of the precinct are most clearly linked by a massive headland with ridge and furrow beyond to the east. The end of a massive building apparently approximately 15m wide, standing on a marked platform, is overlain by a 20th century farm cottage and gardens, but two degraded wall foundations protruding east from them may indicate its length. It lies in the middle of the north side of the monastic complex where it is approached by a hollow-way from the north-west. Scarps and irregularities alongside this hollow-way and others apparently outside the precinct further north-west may represent secular settlement at the priory gates. See Everson, Taylor and Dunn for a detailed history and description.{1}

Sources/Archives (12)

  •  Bibliographic Reference: P.L. Everson, C.C. Taylor and C.J. Dunn. 1991. Change and Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-West Lincolnshire. pp47,50,112-15; Fig84; archive notes.
  •  Aerial Photograph: J.K.S. St Joseph. 1945-79. Cambridge University Collection. AWR 85,1969, .
  •  Aerial Photograph: Paul Everson. 1975-90. RCHM. 2965/15-20,1979, .
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. pp149-151.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: D. Knowles and R.N. Hadcock. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales - Second Edition. pp272,274.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Dorothy M. Owen. 1971. Church and Society in Medieval England. pp66-7, 144.
  •  Index: SMR FILE. KNAITH. SK 88 NW:J,1972, -.
  •  Index: SMR FILE. KNAITH. SK 88 NW:AA,1979, WHITE, A.J..
  •  Scheduling Record: ENGLISH HERITAGE. 1993. SCHEDULING DOCUMENT 22603. MPP 22.
  •  Report: HUTCHINSON G. 1971. PARISH FILE. KNAITH. -.
  •  Aerial Photograph: COLE, C.. 1993-2002. InnerVisions Business Presentations. 195/0797/12A,2A,1997, .
  •  Aerial Photograph: COLE, C.. 1993-2002. InnerVisions Business Presentations. 207/1097/27A;200/0897/13,1997, .



Grid reference Centred SK 8457 8520 (359m by 691m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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