Augustinian Dunstable Exhibition

Priory House has an exhibition space on the first floor, and is currently being updated for a new exhibition launch on Wed 26 January 2022.

We are delighted to tell you about a new Augustinian Dunstable exhibition at Priory House.

Dunstable Priory, sitting at the crossroads of the pre-historic Icknield Way and the Roman Watling Street, witnessed many main events in England’s history from 1125 to 1540 when it was closed by Henry VIII. The church of the Norman priory remains to this day the town’s parish church, and with the help of a recent geophysical survey carried out by Historic England, we are able to show the layout of the priory buildings.

A different footprint to many Augustinian priories, as Dunstable frequently played host to the royal court, and the king had his own apartments. Dunstable’s priory was an important house, owning property and land in more than 100 villages and towns, across seven counties, from Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire to Derbyshire and Staffordshire, as well as Bedfordshire.

For the first time we show the 1542 accounts of the bailiff, Adam Hilton. These give the fascinating details of the rents in the town, with the street names, the inns and the shops allowing us to build a picture of the town together with the names of those who lived here, exactly 480 years ago.

Please feel free to wander around the first floor exhibition area at your leisure.

Also on the first floor you can visit the Jacobean Wall paintings which are located in the Jacobean Room.

Both of the exhibits are free of charge to visit, however, we would recommend contacting in advance of your visit to if you wish to view the Jacobean Room incase it is in use.

You can contact Priory House on 01582 891420 or prioryhouse@dunstable.gov.uk