Thicket Priory History

The Architect
The architect was Edward Blore, his other works include Buckingham Palace, Lambeth Palace, St James Palace, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle. One of his first commissions was for Earl Spencer Ancestor of Lady Diana Spencer who was so impressed he began to champion him to other members of the aristocracy.

The Clock
The clock was by Benjamin Vulliamy who was one of the most prestigious clockmakers of the 19th Century. His commissions include Big Ben for the houses of Parliament, Mantle clocks in Buckingham Palace and the Quadrangle clock at Windsor castle.  Read more…

The Gardens
The gardens contain many rare and imported trees from as far away as Asia Minor, Iran and California. It seems clear that many of the species were obtained by extensive travel by someone of great discernment. Many of the species have medicinal properties and are rarely found except in specialist gardens. Find out more about our trees at Thicket Priory, just click here…

The Ice House

Refrigeration didn’t exist in the 19th Century, the solution at Thicket was an Ice House, ice hacked from the lake and stored in the purpose-built ice house, with layers of straw and sacking. This is made of brick and is in the shape of a giant egg, two thirds below ground for insulation, a third above, with igloo-style doorways for access.  It could have stored around 200 tons of ice, any ice that melted simply went into a runoff at the bottom of the ice house.  

The ice was would have been used simply to cool drinks, or in the preparation of ice-cream and sorbet desserts or around wine in ornate coolers.

Stained Glass
The stained glass is visible in many places around Thicket Priory, take a look here…

The Pope
In a long letter dated 1228 Pope Gregory IX seated in Rome granted Thicket Priory ‘’privilege and protection for perpetuity ‘’ To this day locals use the words ‘’a veil over Thicket’’ to describe the special peaceful feeling that is tangible at Thicket.

The Pilgrimage of Grace
Robert Aske in 1537 began the Pilgrimage of Grace from Thicket in opposition to the dissolution of the monasteries. He raised a rebel army to face Henry VIII’s army led by the Duke of Norfolk. The rebellion was unsuccessful and Robert was hung in chains at Clifford’s Tower in York. By 1539 Thicket Priory was in the hands of King.  Nevertheless, a letter from Thomas Cromwell gave the house and lands to William Wyeth. It seems Thicket Priory received some favourable treatment as it is unclear whether the buildings on the land were ever destroyed as per the instructions of Cromwell.

Long History
There have been 3 Priories at Thicket. The earliest was founded during the reign of Richard the Lionheart around 1086. ‘Thikeyed’ Priory was built by Roger Fitz Roger to home a convent of the Benedictine order. It is thought that the name comes from the high thicket of trees covering the land at the time of building. The lake dates back to the original Thicket Priory. There are indications that the earliest residents were Vikings, who would have travelled up the River Derwent.

The detailed history of Thicket Priory can be found here…