Ankerwycke Priory, Ankerwycke

Record ID:  MNA147259 / MNA147259
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: Scheduled Monument, Listed Building: Grade II
NT Property:  Ankerwycke; London and South East
Civil Parish:  Wraysbury; Windsor and Maidenhead
Grid Reference:  TQ 00412 72680
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Summary

Standing remains of a building on southern range of Ankerwycke Priory. The remains consist of two conjoined portions of ancient walling and a smaller detached piece of wall of Medieval origin that was then adapted into a Tudor Mansion.

Identification Images (2)

MNA147259 Ankerwycke Priory © National TrustMNA147259 Ankerwycke Priory © National Trust
MNA147259 Ankerwycke Priory © National TrustMNA147259 Ankerwycke Priory © National Trust

Monument Types

  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NUNNERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Description

Extract from [1]
The remains consist of two conjoined portionos of ancient walling and a smaller detached piece of wall. The longer portion of the conjoined elements (the North wall) has an E-W alignment and is about 10m in length at ground level. The shortwer portion (the East wall) has a N-S alignment and extends southwards from the eastern section of the longer portion.

The construction material in the walls is chalk with small amounts of sandstone, iron-cemented gravel, brick and tile. There are two small opennings and the remains of a third. In the North wall the more easterly, and more complete, opening has jambs of roughly dressed chalk on the inner face of the wal and a low arch formed by three roughly dressed blocks. The reveal is undressed and the inner sill is of brick. The lower part of the second opening of similar size is present about 2m to the west. It retains on its westerly jamb a trace of simple moulding. In the east wall there is a narrow rectangular opening (closed up at the outer side) with surviving jambs of carefully dressed chalk. At the southern end of this wall, the remains of a diagonal buttress can be seen and the wall itslf appears to have extended in a south westely direction. The third small portion of wall is at a short distance to the north of the north wall, and not quite at right anglae to it.

These fragments seem to comprise much less than is recorded by Pevsner & Williamson (1994) who describe "one 13th century window, one 14th century and one 15th century". Pevsner (1960) was more cautious recognising only "one 13th century window and two later ones". This is very much less than apears in the drawing made by George Delamotte (fl. 1839) in the early 19th century which shows a wall with two substantial window openings with pointed arches and a suggestion of hood moulds, shafts and capitals. Through these openings further walls are visible, also pierced by window openings with pointed arches.

It is not clear to what extent, if at all, these ruins are the remains of the medieval conventual buildings. Leyland (1897) states that "There are no remains of the conventual buildings, which are described as wholly ruinous in the report of the Commissioners, in the reign of Henery the Eighth". Leyland refers to a building that survived in his time in the following terms - "Soon after the Dissolution, a mansion was built on the site … the hall of this mansion still remains." This account agrees closely with the account in Willis (1715) and in Lysons 'Magna Britannica' (1806-22). While it is not likely that the surviving standing ruin is, stricly speaking, part of the 16th century mansion, that building, as illustrated by Lipscomb (1847) shows no sign of incorporating the apparently medieval fabric illustrated by Delamotte. Moreover, Lipscomb illustrates Ankerwycke Priory separately as a ruin. Lipscomb's illustration is of the remnants of a wall which could, with further delapidation, become the present standing remains. This suggests that Delamotte's drawing may be somewhat romanticised. Lipscomb's drawing shows one fragment of wall with window openings at first floor level. This conforns to evidence in the National Photographic Collection, in the early 20th century photographs of the ruin. The inventory attached to the will of Sir Thomas Smith (transcribed in Lipscomb 1847) gives some indication of the rooms forming the post-Dissolution mansion at Ankerwycke in the 16th century. At least 18 rooms are enumerated, including a chapel, and there is a reference to what may be separate buildings - 'the Lodge' and 'the Long House'. In addition, the inventory includes the phrase 'without the Chamber in the corner of the Priory', which suggests that the Priory building was still a separate and recognisable entity. Much remains to be discovered about he building history of both Ankerwycke Priory and the post-Dissolution buildings that occupied its site.

A trial excavation by Thames Valley Archaeological Services in 1993. Three trenches were opened, one adjacent to the outer face of the North wall (Trench B), one adjacent to the inner face of the East wall (Trench C) and one about 5M to the north of the North wall (Trench A) straddling the detached portion of walling. Trench A exposed the detached pportion of wall to its foundation course at a depth of c.2M.. Construction is of dressed chalk which, on its western side, has been refaced with brich, apparently in the 19th century. Trench B was extended downwards for about 2M to the level of a tiled floor. Trench C was extended downwards for about 2M to the level of the foundation course of the wall. The trenches passed through crudely layered deposits of tumbled masonry and a buried soil. Finds, apart from masonry fragments, included pieces of glass and iron, and sherds of medieval and post-medieval pottery. [1]

Excavation in 2022 (ENA10163) opened two trenches with schedueled monument consent. Two trenches were excavated within locations suggested by geophysical survey on land at Ankerwycke Priory, Magna Carta Lane, Wraysbury, Berkshire from 18th July to 29th July 2022, by the Surrey County Archaeological Unit on behalf of the National Trust as part of the Runnymede Explored Project (REx). The overall aim of the project is to enhance understanding and public accessibility of the areas owned by the National Trust at Runnymede and Ankerwycke to either side of the Thames. In particular at Ankerwycke the objectives were to establish the location of the Priory church and cloister and how its Tudor owners used it to create a new mansion, and to provide training in archaeological techniques
There was considerable success in achieving these objectives. The overall disposition of the Priory church and cloister can now be suggested and it is apparent that the Tudor period saw thorough clearance of the structures and levelling of the ground. The community involvement was very widely appreciated.
Recognition of this success must, however, be tempered by acknowledgement of its limitations. The evidence remains inadequate to understand the complexities of the Priory layout and the detail of how it was transformed into a Tudor great house SNA69590.

Site 2 in AOC 2017 (SNA67246)
1993 evaluation (ENA6886/SNA65316) is identified as Site 10 in AOC 2017 (SNA67246).
Finds recovered in the grounds in 1990 are listed as Site 13 in AOC 2017 (SNA67246). In the roothole of a fallen tree alongside the eadstern edge of the trackway leading from Ankerwycke Farm was recovered roof-tile fragments, bone, oyster shell, burnt daub, mortar and several pottery sherds. These were visible in a dark grey-brown silty clay loam containing 'charcoal rubble', sealed by a gravel deposit not dissimilar to the make-up of the trackway. All of the sherds (apart from a single medieval thumbed sandy ware base) are Surrey Whiteware of 13th-14th century date. Similar sherds were also retrieved in the vicinity, comprising a total of 10 sherds. A section of displaced walling, c.1m in length, was also revealed in the tree-pit.
Additional surface finds were also located in the vicinity of the Old Yew Tree (c.30m north of the ruins and east of the trackway), disturbed by animal burrowing and tree clearance. The surface scatter of finds included a glass vessel, roof and floor tile, brick, bone, oyster shell, chalk rubble and pottery. The pottery comprised: single sherd of possible Roman or Saxon pottery, 11 sherds of medieval whiteware (13th/14th century date), grey sandy ware and a shell-tempered sherd of 12th or early 13th century date and 17 sherds of post-medieval (possibly Tudor) pottery.

Old Prefref #123101

References

  • --- SNA61435 - Photograph - black and white: Royal Commission of the Historical Monuments of England. 1905. A view of the remains of Ankerwycke Priory.

  • --- SNA61436 - Photograph - black and white: Historic England. 1900-1920. A view of the remains of Ankerwycke Priory.

  • --- SNA61679 - Report: Oxford Arch. Unit. May 2007. Ankerwycke Priory, Wraysbury, Berkshire, Historic Building Investigation and Recording.

  • --- SNA65314 - Unpublished document: 1994. Ankerwyke Priory report on the works carried out by St Blaise Ltd March - April 1994.

  • --- SNA65315 - Unpublished document: Oxford Arch. Unit. March 1994. Ankerwycke Priory, Wraysbury, Berkshire, Archaeological Evaluation Report.

  • --- SNA65316 - Unpublished document: Steve Ford. 1993. Ankerwycke Priory, Wraysbury, Berkshire, An archaeological evaluation for Berkshire County Council, Department of Highways and Planning.

  • --- SNA65317 - Unpublished document: Stuart Burgess. July 2006. Ankerwycke An Historic Appraisal.

  • --- SNA65320 - Graphic material: Museum of London Archaeology Service. 1993. Measured survey drawings and photographs of the Ankerwycke Priory remains.

  • --- SNA65321 - Unpublished document: Mark Samuels, Architectural Archaeology. 1994?. Ankerwycke Priory, The Building Materials of the Standing Ruin.

  • --- SNA65322 - Unpublished document: Radley House Partnership. Dec 1993. Ankerwycke Priory, The Royal County of Berkshire, Specification.

  • --- SNA65343 - Photograph - black and white: Terrestrial Surveys. March 1985. Rectified photographs taken of Ankerwycke Priory remains. 1:50.

  • --- SNA65369 - Photograph - colour: Gary Marshall. March 2005. Colour slides taken of Ankerwycke Priory remains.

  • --- SNA65373 - Photograph - colour: Gary Marshall. Oct 2006. Colour slide of geophysics survey of Ankerwycke Priory remains.

  • --- SNA65376 - National Trust Report: Gary Marshall. Jan 2007. Report describing the results of a geophysics survey at Ankerwycke Priory.

  • --- SNA66066 - Article in monograph: 1983-85. Notes in Berkshire Archaeological Journal re Ankerwycke Priory. 72.

  • --- SNA67246 - Report: AOC Archaeology Group. 2017. Ankerwycke Priory Scheduled Monument Archaeological Impact Assessment.

  • --- SNA68456 - Report: Andrew Hutt. Sept 2019. Report of a geophysics survey at Ankerwycke July 2019.

  • --- SNA68611 - Report: Cliveden Conservation Workshop Ltd. 2012. Ankerwycke Priory Ruins Condition Report.

  • --- SNA68909 - Report: Cliveden Conservation Workshop Ltd. 2021. Updated Ankerwycke Priory Ruins Condition Report.

  • --- SNA68998 - Report: Surrey County Archaeological Unit. 2021. Runnymede & Ankerwycke Explored Project Desk Based Archaeological Assessment.

  • --- SNA69029 - Report: National Trust. 1990. Report on Archaeological Finds Recovered from Field Walking Survey 1990 - 1991 Grounds of Ankerwycke Priory and the Surrounding Area in 1990 and 1991.

  • --- SNA69125 - Document: National Trust. 2021. Scheduled Monument Consent for Conservation Trials on Ankerwycke Priory, Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69145 - Report: Berkshire Archaeological Society. Geophysical surveys of Ankerwycke Priory site (Priory Field, Black Walnut Field and Orchard Field).

  • --- SNA69351 - Report: Rose of Jericho. 2022. Mortar analysis for Ankerwycke Priory, Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69352 - Report: Cliveden Conservation. 2022. Summary Report on test conservation works on Ankerwycke Priory, Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69589 - Document: Surrey County Archaeological Unit. 2023. Research Design and Written Scheme of Investigation for Ankerwycke Excacvation 2023.

  • --- SNA69590 - Report: Surrey County Archaeological Unit. 2022. Interim Report for Ankerwycke Excacvation 2022.

  • --- SNA69667 - Document: Farmer, Harry. 2022. Brief for Conservation of the Ruinous Remains of Ankerwycke Priory.

  • --- SNA69667 - Document: Farmer, Harry. 2022. Brief for Conservation of the Ruinous Remains of Ankerwycke Priory.

  • --- SNA69670 - Document: Surrey County Archaeological Unit. 2022. Proposal for excavation at Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69671 - Document: Surrey County Archaeological Unit. 2022. WSI for excavation at Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69672 - Document: Historic England. 2022. SMC for excavation at Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69890 - Report: Cliveden Conservation. 2023. Treatment Report of St Mary's, Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69891 - Photographs - set of: Cliveden Conservation. 2023. Treatment Report of St Mary's, Ankerwycke.

  • --- SNA69941 - Digital Image: Gary Marshall. 2013. Colour photographs of Ankerwycke Priory remains..

  • <1> SNA60433 - Unpublished document: Archaeoscape Consulting for the National Trust. March 2001. The Runnymede & Ankerwycke Estates, Historic Environment Assessment, II - Ankerwycke.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • HER/SMR Reference (External): SMR 00032.01.000

Associated Events

  • ENA3920 - Field Survey, Geophysics survey of Ankerwycke Priory
  • ENA3978 - Field Survey, Photographic recording of the Priory remains, Ankerwycke
  • ENA5532 - Non Archaeological Intervention, Graffitti sprayed on the priory remains at Ankerwycke
  • ENA6884 - Archaeological Intervention, Clearance and recording of collapsed rubble from Ankerwycke Priory remains
  • ENA6885 - Archaeological Intervention, Auger survey and excavation of the fishponds at Ankerwycke Priory
  • ENA6886 - Archaeological Intervention, 1993 Archaeological evaluation of remains of Ankerwycke Priory
  • ENA6887 - Non Archaeological Intervention, Historic appraisal of Ankerwycke
  • ENA6897 - Archaeological Intervention, Recording of the standing walls of Ankerwycke Priory 1993
  • ENA6945 - Non Archaeological Intervention, Rectified photographs taken of Ankerwycke Priory
  • ENA6988 - Non Archaeological Intervention, Slide photos taken of the Ankerwycke Priory remains
  • ENA9676 - Field Survey, Geophysical surveys of Ankerwycke Priory site (Priory Field, Black Walnut Field and Orchard Field) 2019
  • ENA8761 - Heritage Assessment, Ankerwycke Priory Scheduled Monument Archaeological Impact Assessment, Runnymede & Ankerwycke, Berkshire 2017
  • ENA9723 - Field Survey, Ankerwycke Priory Ruins Condition Survey
  • ENA10015 - Heritage Assessment, Runnymede & Ankerwycke Explored Project Desk Based Archaeological Assessment
  • ENA10054 - Field Survey, Field Walking Survey of Ankerwycke Priory & Curtilage 1990-1
  • ENA10148 - Environmental Intervention, Conservation work & Sheltercoat Trials on Priory, Ankerwycke 2022
  • ENA9717 - Field Survey, Geophysics Investigation at Ankerwyke east of Priory 2019
  • ENA10163 - Archaeological Intervention, Research Excavation of Ankerwycke Nunnery & Tudor House, Ankerwycke 2022
  • ENA10567 - Archaeological Intervention, Research Excavation of Ankerwycke Nunnery & Tudor House, Ankerwycke 2023
  • ENA10627 - Environmental Intervention, Conservation and consolidation works on Priory remains, Ankerwycke 2023

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

None Recorded