Monk's Abbey


Monks Abbey Character Area and the recreation ground at its heart form a significant green space with a variety of recreational uses (view detailed map). The historic ruins of Monks Abbey are a key characteristic of the area. The recreation ground is attractive and well used and includes a bowling club, children’s play area and ball court.

The residential houses which face on to the recreation ground contribute to the overall character. On the eastern side there are a group of semi-detached and detached houses of one to two storeys built in the Modern Period. On the western side are Edwardian two storey houses along Tempest Street which have higher levels of decoration than other terraces running south off Monks Road. The terraced houses on Monks Road also face the park and help provide a good sense of enclosure to the north.

The central feature of this area is Monks Abbey Recreation Ground which combines a park with modern recreational facilities and the ruins of the medieval Monks Abbey. The land gently slopes up towards Monks Road from the railway.
The ruins are of the chancel and part of the nave of the 13th/late 14th-century church of the Priory of St. Mary Magdalene, a small monastic cell of the Benedictine Abbey at York. Although a small cell, the monks farmed an extensive estate, which passed into private hands following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. The ditch to the east of the main building may represent the eastern boundary of the medieval site. Another medieval survival in this area is the line of Monks Road, which follows the line of the east-west road from the medieval Clasketgate gate in the walled lower city.
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Monks’ Abbey ruins adjacent to modern children's play facilities

Key Statistics

Latitude/Longitude: (53.22992, -0.5198)
Character Area Type: Parkland
Location: Inner suburbs
Predominant Period: High Medieval (850 to 1350 AD)
Secondary Period: Late Victorian/Edwardian (1869 to 1919 AD)
Average Building Type: Terraced
Average Building Density: Medium