St. Nicholas Priory

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  • Address: The Mint, Fore St, Exeter, Devon EX4 3BL, United Kingdom
  • Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details
  • Phone: +44-1392271732
  • Ticket Price: 4 GBP
  • Time Required: 01:00 Hrs
  • Tags: Church, Religious Site, Family And Kids, Monastery

The history of the Benedictine Priory of St Nicholas dates back to the Norman Conquest of England during the battle of Hastings in 1066. William the Conqueror had made a vow on the battlefield during this time and to fulfil that he founded Battle Abbey in Sussex. After 2 years, he went on to besiege the city of Exeter, which was home to Gytha the mother of the slain King Harold. After her hasty departure, William gave to Battle Abbey the church of St Olave at Exeter, which belonged to Gytha.

The original monastery

A small group of monks was sent from the battle to look after the church and its possessions. The monks found a vacant land nearby; built a monastery with its own church and dedicated it to St Nicholas in 1087. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Priory gathered gifts in the forms of land and property. With the help of these, new monastic buildings were built as funds permitted. The monks here also known as Benedictine monks; obeyed the rules of life laid down in the 6th century by St Benedict in his monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy. The monks provided hospitality for travellers and pilgrims who visited from around the world.

The dissolution of the monastery

The Priory held a very prominent place within the city, until King Henry VIII ordered dissolution of small monasteries in 1536. The monks were pensioned off and their church was taken down. The remains in forms of buildings and precinct were sold by the crown later. The house was then brought by Hurst family and later the Willock family. The Exeter Corporation brought the priory and a house in 1913 to restore it to its original monastic state.

The Priory was partially restored to its original form in 2007 using the same methods, materials and colours used nearly 500 years ago.

St. Nicholas Priory Travel Tips

  • It is one of the oldest buildings in whole of England. Do not touch anything unless advised to do so.
  • There is no parking at St Nicholas Priory; however three city centre car parks are nearby - Mary Arches Guildhall Shopping Centre and Harlequins Shopping Centre Car Parks.
  • Parking for motorists with disabilities is free in Exeter City Council car parks (except Guildhall and Mary Arches), provided a valid blue badge is displayed. Wide parking bays are available for disabled motorists in most car parks.
  • Vehicular access is poor. The nearest drop off point for disabled visitors being driven by car is the Peace Garden entrance from Friernhay Street where there are double yellow lines.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome at the Priory. Our staff will be happy to provide drinking water for your dog in our garden area. There is a drink bowl for dogs to use in the garden area which is accessible to all visitors.
  • There are ramps into the reception/shop area, which has low level counters, and from there people using wheelchairs can access the first room (Cellar) with monastic displays, information and our introductory video. This video shows all the Priory's features, including those without wheelchair access.
  • A new staircase gives easier access to the upper floor than the two steep historic stone spiral staircases. Portable stools are available for use throughout the site and the Priory's replica Tudor seating can be enjoyed.
  • Do not miss their gift shop.

Entrance Ticket Details For St. Nicholas Priory

  • Adult: £4.20
  • Pre-School: Voluntary donation
  • Child (5 - 17 years):  £1.60
  • Family  (2 adults and up to 3 children): £10.50
  • Students (proof of status required): £2.10
  • ECC Xcard holder:: Adult £2.10
  • ECC Xcard holder: Child £0.80
  • Senior Concession (over 60 years): £3.10
  • Members of the Museums Association: voluntary donation
  • Friends of RAMM: Voluntary donation
  • Council of British Archaeology members:  voluntary donation
  • Young Archaeologist Club (and their registered supervisors):  voluntary donation

Booked tours

  • They welcome group bookings and you can arrange a special talk or guided tour at a time to suit you, either during the day or in the evening.

School workshops

  • Tudor workshops developed at RAMM are delivered in the priory by external providers: Tudor Life for KS2 or Wood and Wind for KS1. Please contact 07872 538132 for further information.

They update the website yearly regarding the prices. Please refer to the website for further information. 

St. Nicholas Priory Hours

  • The priory can be booked throughout the year for tours, school visits, wedding ceremonies or special events.
  • Open Oct- Nov, 10am to 5pm.
  • They update their website yearly regarding the working days. Please refer to the website for planning your visit.

How to Reach St. Nicholas Priory

  • By Car: 1.2 miles from St David`s station. You can take a rental car.
  • By Foot: 0.7 mile walk from Exeter Central.

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  • St. Nicholas Priory Address: The Mint, Fore St, Exeter, Devon EX4 3BL, United Kingdom
  • St. Nicholas Priory Contact Number: +44-1392271732
  • St. Nicholas Priory Timing: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm
  • St. Nicholas Priory Price: 4 GBP
  • Best time to visit St. Nicholas Priory(preferred time): 02:00 pm - 04:00 pm
  • Time required to visit St. Nicholas Priory: 01:00 Hrs
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  • 7.63% of people who visit Exeter include St. Nicholas Priory in their plan

  • 66.67% of people start their St. Nicholas Priory visit around 2 PM - 3 PM

  • People usually take around 1 Hr to see St. Nicholas Priory

Monday, Friday and Saturday

95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting St. Nicholas Priory

People normally club together Exeter Golf And Country Club and Phoenix Arts Centre while planning their visit to St. Nicholas Priory.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

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