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The Villages of the Yorkshire Wolds

Watton


The busy A164 runs through the heart of the Village cutting it into two halves but that does not effect the neighbours in this small community.

The Village is made up of a number of houses both old and new with farms in the surrounding locality being served by St Mary’s Church which is a small Tudor brick built building built in the 16th Century.

The Village also had a Methodist Chapel built in 1887 but this is now a private dwelling.

Watton is famous for its Priory which was founded in 1150 by Eustace Fitzjohn. It was a Gilbertine Priory and unusual because it housed both monks and nuns, separately, but under the same roof! The original house was 600 feet long, the west wing occupied by the nuns the west wing by the monks and in its time was the largest house of its type in England. The Priory was dissolved in 1539 by Henry VIII. The house sadly no longer remains but the prior’s lodgings house is now a private dwelling known as Watton Abbey.

During the Second World War an airfield was built at Watton which played an important role to the RAF. Some of the old concrete run way can still be seen but buildings have long since disappeared. The few that were left until very recently (1998) were those of the gymnasium, cinema and living quarters but the land is now part of a local pig farm and sadly the last of the buildings are being demolished to make way for modern pig units! A hospital was built near to the Priory and a huge petrol store was situated near to the Watton railway crossing, both of these have now disappeared.

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ÓMSH 1999


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