Bridlington is renowned for its seaside, ice cream and promenades. Many people flock to the coastal town to enjoy family holidays and soak up the sun on the sandy beaches.
Bridlington holidays offer plenty when it comes to sightseeing and activities, but there’s a hidden side to the town which, while in plain sight of tourists, often goes undiscovered.
Bridlington has a rich history
The coastal town boasts plenty of historical sites that are reminiscent of the town’s medieval past. The Priory Church of St Mary is one of these historical sites, and is hidden away in Bridlington on Church Green.
The church dates back all the way to 1113, and the site, which is still standing, is around half the size it would have originally been. The church is just one part of the structure, and the original would have included dormitories, an infirmary and a Chapter House.
The Priory Church of St Mary
Walter De Grant built the structure, and it is believed that during King Stephen’s reign it came under siege, amassed great wealth and was given authority over the port and harbour. Although the church was at the centre of worship, it appears that misbehaviour was commonplace: for example, Canons were often found to be absent from their duties.
The church took a staggering 300 years to be built, and the land and wealth that is often associated with the Priory can be seen even in its current form. During its reformation, it is reported that King Henry VII turned the site into a cultural hub which allowed historians and writers to thrive.
Hidden from tourist hotspots
The Priory may be Bridlington’s best-kept secret, and is certainly worth a visit.
When it comes to Bridlington, there’s plenty to see and do, but a trip to the Priory offers a unique look into the rich history of the town. If you’re preparing to enjoy a Bridlington holiday, then a trip to The Priory Church of St Mary should definitely be added to the top of your itinerary so that you can appreciate this hidden gem in all its glory.