The history of the Priest's House

The exterior of the Priest's House

One of the National Trust’s smallest buildings, the Priest's House was built by John Stokes, Rector of Easton from 1456 until he died in 1495.

One of the National Trust’s smallest buildings, the Priest's House was built by John Stokes, Rector of Easton from 1456 until he died in 1495.

Stokes left money for a chantry priest to pray for his soul. The priest could have lived here until 1545 when chantries became illegal following the dissolution of the monasteries and the funds were appropriated by the Crown.

Subsequently the house was used as a school by Revd John Skynner, who was the father of Lancelot Skynner, captain of HMS Lutine, which foundered off the Dutch coast in 1799 carrying a vast cargo of gold, which is still undiscovered today.

How the house changed in the 19th century

In 1868 the Victorian architect, Sir Thomas Jackson, made alterations to the building, as well as designing the adjacent coach house.

The building contains many interesting architectural features and houses a comprehensive exhibition on the mining and preparation of Collyweston slates, an important industry unique to the locality, but now defunct.