Monastic Wales.

Remnants of Pill Priory

Little survives of the former priory church and claustral buildings. All that remains standing of the church is the chancel arch and parts of the crossing tower and the south transept. However excavations in 1996-97 uncovered the north wall of the north transept. Survey and recording work in the 1990s indicate that the church was cruciform in design with a central three-storey tower and transepts on the north and south. The nave was unaisled and probably over ten metres wide.

The conventual buildings were south of the church but following the Dissolution the south and east claustral ranges were modified for domestic use. Some medieval elements have survived. Parts of the east range (the chapter-house, sacristy and library) are apparently incorporated in the cottage now called ‘Pill Priory’ but previously known as ‘The Steps’. Medieval fabric is preserved in Priory Inn which stands to the south of this range and may have been part of the monks’ refectory or kitchen, or of their latrine block (reredorter) or the monastic infirmary.

Burials to the north of the church were recorded in the 1990s when a sewage pipe trench was dug through the former monastic cemetery. Over thirty burials were uncovered and it it thought that all of these related to the priory although none could be identified. In only one case was there evidence of a coffin. [1]

[1] N. D. Ludlow, R. S. F. Ramsey, and D. E. Schlee, ‘Pill Priory 1996-1999: recent work at a Tironian House in Pembrokeshire’, Medieval Archaeology 46, 2002, pp. 41-80; Cooper, Abbeys and Priories, p. 76;

Monastic sites related to this article

Pill, Pembrokeshire(Priory)