Monday, 19 January 2015

Isleham Priory, Cambridgeshire

ISLEHAM PRIORY. Founded in the C11 (Benedictine). What survives is too small to be the priory church, too large to be a capella ante portas. Whatever it was, it is a precious survival of an unaltered, if not very well preserved Early Norman chapel. Nave, chancel, and apse preceded by a straight stretch of wall. Herringbone masonry; several small windows, three in the apse. Chancel arch on sturdy coupled demi-shafts with one-scallop capitals, preceded by a thinner shaft on the W. Apse arch of a single-stepped moulding. Both arches single-stepped. No ornament whatsoever.

Isleham Priory, Cambridgeshire (2)

More than a thousand years old is Isleham, and here for most of the time has stood a little Norman chapel, built for a small priory founded in the 11th century and abandoned by the monks as long ago as 1254. It has narrow windows in deep splays, and an apse at the east end, and after long use as a barn is waiting for its day of restoration.