Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Clare Priory & Ancient House , Suffolk

A couple of places we looked at while visiting the town of Clare in the Summer

First this ancient House which is now part Museum

Standing at the south-west corner of St Peter and St Paul’s churchyard, the Ancient House is a picturesque medieval timber-framed building in this remarkably unspoilt market town. Its elaborate pargeting (raised plaster decoration), so distinctive a form of vernacular decoration in East Anglia, bears the date ‘1473’, and is one of the most celebrated examples of this art in the country. 

A local farmer, Charles W. Byford, acquired the Ancient House in the early 1930s to prevent its removal to the United States and it was subsequently given to Clare Parish Council.  

We walk through the town down to the river

and visit Clare Priory

Clare Priory is one of the oldest religious houses in England; situated in the shadows of Clare Castle on the banks of the River Stour, Suffolk.
Established in 1248 at the invitation of Richard de Clare it was the first house of the Augustinian (or Austin) Friars in England. Following its suppression in 1538, the house passed through many hands and uses until the Augustinian Friars purchased the house in 1953 and returned to their origins in England. Clare Priory today acts as a Parish and as a Retreat Centre.
It is the home of a mixed community of Augustinian friars and lay people, open to both men and women, seeking to live the Christian life according to the Rule of St. Augustine.

We walk around the gardens and the Priory ruins

and finish at the Friar's house
where we chat to the Head Friar who was painting the outside of the house


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Interesting that the priory is again used for the religious. It's always amazing to see such old buildings in such wonderful condition,'

Balisha said...

We have an order of Nuns in Rockford Illinois called the Poor Clares. I don't suppose this has anything to do with these old buildings.
Very interesting post..Balisha

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

What a charming place. I have never heard of pargeting is really stunning on the outside of a house like that.

Needled Mom said...

How interesting! Some of our grandchildren go to school at St. Augustine Academy so we are very familiar with his teachings.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of pargeting before, but it is absolutely stunning. Thank goodness it stayed here!

Cheri said...

Interesting! Is the friars house Pink?

Gracie Saylor said...

I especially enjoyed seeing Ancient House...and learning about it's beautiful pargeting. Thanks for posting, Barbara. xx from Gracie