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The full dimensions of the choir and nave are not known, although de nave was about 30ft and 6ins wide, assuming it to have had the same width as the crossing tower. The areas and dimensions of the North and South Transepts (taken to be roughly equal) may be estimated, knowing the length and location of the South Wall of the South Transept which is more-or -less complete.

This wall which is gabled, is pierced by a pointed archway from which night stairs would have descended in the church to the Transept floor. The archway led from the monks' dormitory on the other side of the wall, enabling the members of the community to enter the choir from their sleeping quarters for night-time services.

The domestic quarters were originally arranged on three sides of the cloister to the south of the church. The ranges to the west and south however have completely disappeared. Considerable portions of the buildings to the east of the cloister however have survived. They now form the core of two houses constructed after the priory had been suppressed. Immediately to the south of the South Transept is the first of these houses called 'Pill Priory' (a Grade 2* listed building - renamed to 'Pill Priory' in March 2010). This retains at ground floor level two chambers of considerable antiquity (probably both of the 12th and early 13th century). The larger of the two is orientated east-west, measures approximately 15 ft by 25 ft 9 ins. internally and has a stone Norman barrel-vault supported by thick side-walls. These are on average three to four feet thick, but the south wall is five feet thick at base. At its west end this chamber has a shallow and pointed archway which takes up most of its width. To the north of this large chamber and contiguous with it is a small passage-way called a 'Slype' (now divided into two sections by modern paneling) which is also barrel vaulted and which possesses a crude pointed arch at either end.

dormitory rooflineThough the west wall of the large chamber is set well back from where the west wall of the east range would probably have been (i.e. in line with the west wall of the South Transept) it is likely that this chamber was the priory Chapter house (A building attached to a church, cathedral or monastery and used as a meeting place.) and that the accompanying passage way was the Slype (A covered passageway, especially one connecting the transept of a cathedral or monastery to the chapter house.) or inner parlour.

The roof-line of the dormitory may be seen on the south side of the south transept gable (picture left), indicating that the main part of the east range stood immediately to the west of the chapter-house and slype. This would suggest that the space below the dormitory was occupied by a vestibule which led from the east cloister-walk into the chapter-house via the wide archway and possibly into the slype.

Over the chapter-house, the thick walling rises to form an upper story, now divided into several rooms. Its large area suggests that it was used either as the scriptorium (pic below) or the Prior's lodging.

The other house which stands to the south of the site of the east range now serves as a public house, it also retains ancient fabric, coeval. The same fabric is inside the 'Pill Priory' cottage (pic below).

Its main feature is another thick-walled barrel-vaulted chamber which is also aligned east-west. The location of this chamber at ground-floor level at the south end of the east range, suggest that it may have been either a lower section of the reredorter (monks latrine) or part of the infirmary.

Pill Priory - Cottage


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