Hulne Priory
Hulne Priory
Hulne Priory, was founded in 1240 by Carmelite monks, making it perhaps the first Carmelite priory in England. The priory was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, but considerable parts of the monastic buildings remain intact. Among the remains are scattered 18th century sculptures of monks praying.
One of the unusual features at Hulne is that the monastic buildings are contained within a retaining wall, a reminder that during much of the medieval period Northumberland was a battleground between Scots and english. In the late 15th century the monastery defenses were improved by adding a sturdy pele tower, a form of fortified lookout, allowing the monks to retreat inside the tower if truble threatened.

Much of the priory is in ruins, though the infirmary walls have been restored and now stand to their full height, though there is no roof. There is a well-preserved triple sedilia in the priory church, with very finely carved arcading.

After the priory was dissolved the property fell to the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland, and the priory buildings now stand amidst Hulne Park, used by the Dukes as a hunting park. A very short walk away is Alnwick Abbey Gatehouse, the only surviving part of a 12th century Premonstratensian abbey.

Getting there
Access is only on foot, from Alnwick. Park on the left side of Rotten Row, off the B6346 road to Wooler. Access to the Park is limited, at this writing 11-sunset, but it is worth checking first.