Chicksands Priory

 

This visit is now full. Please email Ann if you would like to go on the waiting list.

Chicksands Priory dates from 1150 but was dissolved in 1538. Very little is now visible, but the site has a rich history and is this country's only surviving example of a Gilbertine cloister above ground (it's now the Officer’s Mess and not at all monastic). Some buried remains were found by TV’s Time Team dig in 2001. We will have a tour of the building and learn about the Gilbertines, the Osborn family (who have been associated with Chicksands since 1576), and the military. 

NOTE there are a couple of large steps on the ground floor and only stairs to the upper floor in the Priory.

It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to go around the Priory after which there will be a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit and the chance to see the Walled Garden (weather & time permitting). You will then be escorted to the gate and shown where to return your car pass, personal pass or numbered badge.

Booking for LALG members opens 22 February and for non-members on 2 April. Tickets are £5 per person, plus non-members must pay an extra £2 (cash only) on the day.  

The site is on a secure MOD base so you will need to provide information in advance for everyone for whom you have bought a ticket. Details will be sent in the email confirming your booking but will include: first name and surname, date of birth and nationality. You must also list the make, model, colour and registration of the car(s) you will be arriving in. 

PLUS you must bring photographic ID with you on the day - passport, driving license, bus pass etc. Please arrive at the Guardroom (entrance) at 1.30pm as it will take time to process everyone.

Photography is only permitted of the outside of the priory building - no videoing, photography or audio recording is permitted inside the building or elsewhere on the base.

GETTING THERE

The postcode for Chicksands is SG17 5QB. Here is a map showing the location.  

The entrance is from the A600 (the Shefford to Bedford road) not from the A507. The turn, which is signposted UKSC on the A600, takes you down Sandy Lane, through Rowney Warren Woods and opens out by a vegetable packing station. Continue ahead, through quite a sharp left chicane and park in one of the marked bays there on the right.
From there you need to go into the Guardroom, (the building on the left), where you will either surrender, or show your passport in exchange for a numbered badge (to keep on your person), or you will have your photo taken, a pass given to you and your passport returned. The car driver will receive a vehicle pass to be displayed on the car dashboard. From there you will return to your car and wait to drive ‘convoy style’ - following a member of the Tour Team - through the security gate onto the base and be shown where to park.
From the Priory car park, you will make your way to the main entrance of the Priory (not across the grass as there is a ha-ha). 

Contact Details

See Group Contact.