Historic Wilmington Priory can be viewed for free later this month.
Building preservation charity The Landmark Trust is staging public open days from Friday, November 21, to November 24 (10am to 4pm).
Wilmington Priory dates back to 1215 and was a satellite of the Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame de Grestain, founded in Normandy by Herluin de Conteville and his wife Arlette, the mother of William the Conqueror.
The Priory was a base from which to manage Notre-Dame de Grestain’s English estates. Such cells were unpopular, and King Henry V dissolved them, including Wilmington, in the year 1414.
Alterations have taken place in almost every century since and the result is a complex puzzle to unravel; a medieval site with its fine vaulted entrance porch, stair turrets and mullioned window in the Great Chamber along with the comfort of the living rooms improved by the Georgians.
It is available for anyone to book as self-catering holiday accommodation for up to six people, with the rental income paying for the building’s on-going maintenance. The open days are a rare chance for locals to enjoy this ancient jewel.
All are welcome and there is no need to book. A free information leaflet will be available to explain the building’s history and restoration.
The Grade I Listed building, which faces The Long Man of Wilmington, was never a conventional Priory with cloister and chapter-house, but rather at the height of its fortunes it seems to have housed the Prior and perhaps two or three monks whose chief duties were those of a land agent.
For further information contact The Landmark Trust on 01628 825925 or visit www.landmarktrust.org.uk