The scant ruins of Mattersey Priory are set in farmland above the banks of the River Idle. It is a beautiful spot with only a farmhouse for company.
This is one of the few priories belonging to the order of St Gilbert of Sempringham based in Lincolnshire. The priory was founded around 1185 with six monks and ten lay-brothers who worked as labourers. It was never very wealthy and after a fire destroyed much of the priory church in 1279, it was never rebuilt. It was finally Dissolved in 1538.
Now all that remains are a few ruins in a field. All that is left of the cloisters and kitchens are the foundations in the grass. Part of the priory church tower still stands. A bit of stone wall with a pillar remains of the dorter on the east side of the cloister. The refectory on the south of the cloister is the best preserved with a wall and four window arches as well as the servery to the kitchen.
The site is reached down an unsigned and very rutted track from Mattersey village. The ruins are in the care of English Heritage. Entry is free and they are open any time. There is parking in the field next to the ruins.
There isn’t a lot to see, but on a sunny afternoon it is a nice place to drop out and have a picnic. Few people find it.