Taunton Priory

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Taunton Priory
Somerset cricket museum.jpg
The Old Priory Barn, now used as a museum, is the only surviving building.
Monastery information
Other namesPriory of St Peter and St Paul
OrderAugustinian canons
LocationTaunton, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°01′05″N 3°05′54″W / 51.018083°N 3.098198°W / 51.018083; -3.098198Coordinates: 51°01′05″N 3°05′54″W / 51.018083°N 3.098198°W / 51.018083; -3.098198
Grid referencegrid reference ST23062487

Taunton Priory, or the Priory of St Peter and St Paul, was an Augustinian house of canons founded c. 1115 by William Gyffarde (also called William Giffard), Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England near Taunton, Somerset, England.

Its location was due in part to the fact that Taunton was a manor of the Bishops of Winchester. Henry de Blois, successor to William Gyffarde and brother of King Stephen is also shown as a co-founder of the priory, although it is not clear if he had any role in its construction.[1] The Priory was dissolved in 1539, and entirely demolished except for the Priory Barn.[2]

The medieval fish farm, or vivarium, is now the site of Vivary Park.[3]

The current Priory Barn building, used by Taunton Cricket Club as the Somerset Cricket Museum, dates from the late 15th or early 16th century, and replaces an earlier 13th or 14th century building on that site.[4]

The location of the Priory Church and complex was uncovered by excavation in advance of the construction of a block of flats in 2005 by Context One Archaeological Services. The western end of the church and adjoining cloister was uncovered.[5]


  1. ^ Thomas Hugo (1860). The History of Taunton Priory in the County of Somerset. J. R. Smith, London. ISBN 978-1437375350.
  2. ^ Clare Gathercole (2002). "English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey, An archaeological assessment of Taunton" (PDF). Somerset County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Friends of Vivary Park can taste the money!". Community Spaces. Groundwork. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Former County Garage, Priory Avenue, Taunton, Somerset. An Archaeological Watching Brief and Field Evaluation" (PDF). Context One Archaeological Services. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
  5. ^ "28131: Excavation (2005), Priory Avenue, Taunton". Somerset Historic Environment Record. South West Heritage Trust. Retrieved 29 September 2016.

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