Visit Mount Grace Priory, House & Gardens

, in Northallerton

Address: Mount Bank, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 3JG

Phone: +44 01609 883494

Email: grace.dunne@english-heritage.org.uk

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Mount Grace Priory, House & Gardens, is in the scenic landscapes of North Yorkshire near the edge of the North York Moors, stands as one of the best preserved Carthusian priories in Britain. This unique site combines historical monastic architecture with the stunning beauty of arts and crafts style gardens, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Introduction: Discovering Mount Grace

Mount Grace Priory, a jewel in the heart of North Yorkshire, offers visitors a rare glimpse into the life of a medieval monastery. Owned by English Heritage and the National Trust, this site has not only historical significance with its well-preserved structures but also showcases an Arts and Crafts manor house amidst beautifully landscaped gardens.

The Historical Tapestry of Mount Grace Priory

Foundation and Monastic Significance

Founded in the 15th century, Mount Grace Priory served as a sanctuary for the Carthusian Order, known for their commitment to solitary and contemplative life. The priory layout includes a reconstructed monk’s cell, offering a tangible connection to the unusual medieval monastery practices where monks lived in their own cells, engaging in prayer and manual labor.

Architectural Importance

The priory’s architectural elements are typical of medieval craftsmanship. The great cloister, along with the original medieval structures, provides a fascinating exploration into the layout and daily operations of a Carthusian priory. The site’s restoration efforts have ensured that the essence of these structures, from the large church to the individual cells, has been meticulously preserved.

A Glimpse Into Monastic Life

The Reconstructed Monk’s Cell

A highlight for many visitors is the reconstructed monk’s cell, which illustrates the monk’s commitment to a life of solitude. These cells, uniquely designed to support both communal and solitary religious practices, include a workspace, bedroom, and even a small garden, allowing monks to live in isolation for the majority of their time.

Daily Routines and Spiritual Practices

The Carthusian monks at Mount Grace followed a rigorous schedule, including nocturnal liturgical hours and feast days, which punctuated their otherwise silent lives. This unusual routine underscores the priory’s role as a center for deep religious contemplation and spiritual discipline.

Mount Grace Today: A Blend of History and Nature

Arts and Crafts Manor House

Post-monastic life, Mount Grace Priory saw the transformation of part of its premises into a crafts manor house, designed in the Arts and Crafts style by notable figures like Sir Lowthian Bell and later, Chris Beardshaw. The manor house features Arts and Crafts rooms filled with William Morris designs, reflecting the aesthetic movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Gardens and Grounds

The gardens at Mount Grace, inspired by the Arts and Crafts style, are a seasonal spectacle. From the bright red Japanese acers to the eglantyne roses filling the air with fragrance, the gardens offer a tranquil retreat. Notably, the gardens include crafts-style elements and are meticulously maintained to ensure year-round beauty.

Visiting Mount Grace Priory

Practical Visitor Information

Mount Grace Priory is accessible to a wide range of visitors, with two accessible parking spaces and easy paths leading through the gardens and to the priory. The Orchard Café offers a variety of hot and cold drinks, sweet treats, and light meals, making it a perfect spot for refreshments after exploring the site.

Tips for the Best Experience

Visiting during different seasons can offer unique perspectives of the priory’s beauty, from the snow-dusted medieval ruins in winter to the lush gardens in full bloom during summer. Booking is advisable to ensure a smooth visit, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Special Features for Pet Owners

For those wishing to bring their pets, the grounds are pet-friendly, though it is recommended to keep dogs on short leads. The picnic area provides a lovely setting for families and individuals to enjoy a meal amidst the historical and natural beauty of Mount Grace.


Mount Grace Priory, with its rich tapestry of history, restored Arts and Crafts elements, and the serene beauty of its gardens, offers an enriching experience that captures the essence of North Yorkshire’s heritage and natural charm. Whether you’re a history buff, garden enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Mount Grace Priory promises a memorable visit filled with discovery and beauty.

Price

Full adult £11, members go free


Don’t Miss:

• The reconstructed monk’s cell
• A glimpse of the famous priory stoats
• The revamped herb plot and gardens
• Two new rooms opened in the arts and crafts style

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