I thought I would write a little about where the event will be and I took some photos in the glorious Sun today!
These first photos are taken as I walk from the main docks past the Gloucester College and into the site.
Gloucester College is on the site of what would have been the Priory Orchard.
The 1st Llanthony Priory was built near Abergavenny in Wales but in 1136 it was seized by rebels and The Llanthony Secunda Priory was built just outside Gloucester to house the fugitive Prior and 20 Canons. By 1150 the Priory had beautiful Gardens and Vineyards. a church, cloisters and outbuildings.
The Priory was dissolved in 1538 and in 1540 the late Priors understeward Arthur Porter bought the Priory and an estate of about 450 Acres. The Porters and their descendents the Scudamores used it as a mansion house until the seige of Gloucester in 1543, when it became part of the Royalists camp.
After the seige only outbuildings survived and they became the stables and a farmstead for a surviving mansion Newarke half a mile to the South.
It was passed down through the Sudamore, Howard and Higford families until it was sold in 1898 but the canal, railway and industrial works had been encroaching on the land from 1794.
From 1974-1991 it was used as a scrap yard, when Gloucester City Council bought 5 acres in order to preserve it and passed to the Trust in 2007.
You can find a fuller history on their website;
I first visited the site in 1999 when I moved to Gloucester for my apprenticeship in Stonemasonry at Gloucester Cathedral, I was exploring the city on my bike and stumbled upon a medieval encampment and re-enactment, I knew one day I would be able to help make more of this site and raise it’s profile.
I took this final photo from the 2nd level of the muti-storey car park in the new Quays development.
The original Priory site was cut into by the development of the canal and railways. The new buildings and docks destroyed any remaining buildings and foundations, including the remains of the church and churchyard, in fact they found Norman pillars, stone coffins and floor tiles when they were cutting out the canal basin, and now with the new developments the old buildings are being torn down or re-developed, the crazy march of time.
And now here we are celebrating the docks and the priory together.