St Nicholas Priory was one of seven houses of Benedictine monks in Devon, and there was one Benedictine nunnery in the county – at Polsloe. They varied in wealth and power from mighty Tavistock Abbey to the small cells of Modbury and Pilton. Over the last 50 years archaeological work of different sorts has taken place on several of these sites; this talk will describe the new findings arising from this work, and the light they shed on the buildings, economy and lives of the monks and nuns who lived in these monasteries.
John Allan is the Consultant Archaeologist of Exeter Cathedral, Archaeological Adviser to Glastonbury Abbey, past President of the Devonshire Association and of the Devon Archaeological Society and former Joint Editor of the international journal Post-Medieval Archaeology. For twenty years (1984–2004) he was Curator of Antiquities of Exeter City Museums. He has published about 180 papers on different aspects of the medieval and later archaeology of South-West England including ceramics, church architecture, numismatics, domestic buildings and cultural links to Brittany.