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 The Priory is a Grade 2 listed building dating from 1818 and has an interesting history. It was built by Thomas Espin FSA, who was a mathematician, artist of some renown, and an architect. From his childhood memories of the Gilbertine Priory of Bullington, he was inspired to build the Gothic Cottage now known as The Priory. Thomas Espin also designed a new Town Hall, which wasn’t built, but, in lieu of payment for the design, he was allowed to use the stone and other materials removed from the former Town Hall that had been demolished. The use of these items along with artefacts from the 13th Century Abbey that was destroyed during the Dissolution, show the success of recycling of the period.

The result is a building with many fine features incorporating intricate plasterwork and delicate glass.

Sadly Mr Espin died in 1822 and is buried, at his wish, in the former summerhouse next to the lake in the grounds of his beloved Priory. This building contains his tombstone and is a miniature version of the main house. Although now derelict, it is the subject of a current restoration project. The gardens now maturing almost two hundred years later are quite fittingly part of his original dream of a “Gothic cottage” in a country park setting.

The Priory was run as a boys’ school known as ‘The Academy’ for several decades and was then a private residence for many notable citizens of Louth. Prior to becoming a hotel in 1977 it was a happy and special home to some of Louth’s senior population.



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